LIFE CYCLE ASSESSMENT OF INDUSTRIAL PACKAGING FOR CHEMICALS

Posted by Fanny Crocquevieille
Type: 
Full LCA available on the web
Comparative: 
no
Publication year: 
2003
Language: 
English
Code: 
Package/Container (not paper specific)
Product: 
produit chimique
Quality and sources
Is the study a: 
Detailed LCA
Was a critical review performed?: 
Yes
Is the study compliant with ISO 14044?: 
Yes
Sponsor name(s): 
Akzo Nobel Surface Chemistry AB
Sponsor name(s): 
Chalmers University of Technology
Sponsor type: 
University
Practitioner(s): 
Anastassia Manuilova
Practitioner(s): 
Klas Hallberg/ Karin Sanne/ Malin Bogeskär /Knut Andrén/ Majlis Lindqvist/ Olle Ramnäs/ Morgan Fröling
Practitioner(s) type: 
University
Summary
Functional unit: 
1000 litres de produits chimiques
Goal and scope of the summary: 
The aim of this study was to carry out a detailed analysis of the life cycle of plastic and steel materials used for the packaging of chemical products at Akzo Nobel, Stenungsund with emphasis on reuse and recycling, and suggest possible improvements to reduce environmental impact. nature boundaries : the impact of the actual use of packaging in the marketing and use was not studied. The environmental influence caused by the production of machines, industrial plants and infrastructure is not included. The fact that emissions on different geographical places can have different effects on the environment has not been accounted for. The assessment is not based on any specific evaluation method but is derived from the discussion of some important emissions and use of resources. geographical boundaries : The data representing the production of raw material for drums and containers (HDPE, steel) are average data for the production in Europe. The manufacturing of plastic, steel and combi drums takes place at the plant in Sweden and IBCs in the UK. Time boundary : Attempts were made to obtain the most updated data. Almost all of the site-specific data are based on the year 2001.

1. Recycling gain. In order to reduce the energy input, resource consumption and emissions, the reuse and recycling options should be adopted and the recycling process should be made more efficient.

2. Presently, the use of steel drums is a better option. This is mainly due to the relatively high steel recycling rate worldwide. Based on the interviews with recyclers and customers it could be concluded that steel drums are usually collected and sent for recycling even if there is no regulations on recycling of packaging in the country.

3. Use of IBC is a good option, since the containers are equipped with so-called “recycling ticket” and recollected on this basis by the supplier and recycled. The “recycling ticket” is valid within Europe and US. Due to this option, reuse and recycling rates of IBCs are high and the use of this type of packaging is good from the environmental point of view.

4. With higher recycling rates the environmental effect of steel and plastic drums, and IBCs are almost the same. In the countries where the collection and recycling system is well-developed, for example Nordic countries, Germany, Switzerland, etc., all three types of packaging can be used.

5. Use of plastic drums is reasonable in the countries with good plastic recycling technology. Feasibility studies should be carried out to know the packaging that customers want to buy the products and the reasons why they prefer it so as to reduce environmental effects.

6. Use as less composite drums as possible. The composite drums should be used only in cases where it is required by regulations. Composite drums contain two different materials and this poses a problem for the material recycling process, since the materials should be separated to allow recycling. In order to improve the recycling process, the materials should be easily separable or only one type of material should be used.

7. Plastic and steel drums are cheaper compared to other packaging. The IBCs on a metal pallet are more expensive than on a wooden pallet. The composite drums are the most expensive packaging.




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