Life Cycle Assessment of POLYLACTIDE (PLA)

Posted by Fanny Crocquevieille
Type: 
Full LCA available on the web
Comparative: 
yes
Publication year: 
2006
Language: 
English
Code: 
Package/Container (not paper specific)
Code: 
Food, Plants
Product: 
emballage alimentaire
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): 
IFEU GmbH,
Sponsor type: 
Union, Federation
Practitioner(s): 
Andreas Detzel
Practitioner(s): 
Martina Krüger
Summary
Functional unit: 
1000 units of 500 ml clam shells which are in- tended to be filled with cold foodstuff, for instance take-away salad, and are available for the consumer at the point-of-sale.
Goal and scope of the summary: 
Compare PLA clam shell's packaging with PP,PET and OPS solution.

The comparison of the PLA packaging system with the alternative systems revealed that:
• The PLA system shows advantages compared to all three packaging systems using conventional polymers, in the categories Fossil Resource Consumption, Global Warming and Summer Smog. Similar results regarding Human Toxicity (Carcinogenic Risk) are of limited reliability due to existing data quality issues.
• For the remaining impact categories, comparisons of the PLA system with the alter- native systems do not show a clear trend. The LCA results for Acidification, Terres- trial Eutrophication and Human Toxicity (PM10) show disadvantages of PLA when compared to PS and PP systems.
• Comparing PLA with PET, PLA only shows disadvantages for terrestrial and aquatic Eutrophication. However, the latter observation has been found to depend on the choice of PET inventory dataset.
• For Aquatic Eutrophication PLA shows environmental advantages if compared to PP and disadvantages in comparison with PS and PET.

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