Food packaging systems mainly serve to contain and protect foods during their shelf-lives. However, it is well known that a package is responsible for several environmental impacts associated with its entire life-cycle. Therefore, package design should be developed taking into account not only cost, food shelf-life and safety, as well as user-friendliness, but also environmental sustainability. To address and improve this latter issue, environmental evaluation methodologies need to be applied: Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is one amongst them, and can be considered a valid tool for this purpose. Indeed, it has been long applied in the food packaging field to highlight both environmental hotspots and improvement potentials for more eco-friendly products. In this context, this paper reports upon an LCA application experience in the production of foamy Polylactic Acid (PLA) trays for fresh-food packaging applications. The study highlighted that the highest environmental impacts come from the production and transport of the granules, so remarking the need to search for alternative biopolymers. In this regard, the results of this study will form the base for another one regarding the assessment of second-generation PLA granules, namely those produced by processing both wastes and wastewaters from starchy crop cultivation systems and processing plants.

An attributional Life Cycle Assessment application experience to highlight environmental hotspots in the production of foamy polylactic acid trays for fresh-food packaging usage

Gigli M.
Membro del Collaboration Group
;
2017

Abstract

Food packaging systems mainly serve to contain and protect foods during their shelf-lives. However, it is well known that a package is responsible for several environmental impacts associated with its entire life-cycle. Therefore, package design should be developed taking into account not only cost, food shelf-life and safety, as well as user-friendliness, but also environmental sustainability. To address and improve this latter issue, environmental evaluation methodologies need to be applied: Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is one amongst them, and can be considered a valid tool for this purpose. Indeed, it has been long applied in the food packaging field to highlight both environmental hotspots and improvement potentials for more eco-friendly products. In this context, this paper reports upon an LCA application experience in the production of foamy Polylactic Acid (PLA) trays for fresh-food packaging applications. The study highlighted that the highest environmental impacts come from the production and transport of the granules, so remarking the need to search for alternative biopolymers. In this regard, the results of this study will form the base for another one regarding the assessment of second-generation PLA granules, namely those produced by processing both wastes and wastewaters from starchy crop cultivation systems and processing plants.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10278/3717933
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