LIFE CYCLE INVENTORY OF PACKAGING OPTIONS FOR SHIPMENT OF RETAIL MAIL-ORDER SOFT GOODS

Posted by Fanny Crocquevieille
Type: 
Full LCA available on the web
Comparative: 
no
Publication year: 
2004
Language: 
English
Code: 
Package/Container (not paper specific)
Code: 
Services
Product: 
colis
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): 
U.S. EPA ENVIRONMENTALLY PREFERABLE PURCHASING PROGRAM
Sponsor name(s): 
OREGON DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY (DEQ)
Sponsor type: 
Public administration
Practitioner(s): 
FRANKLIN ASSOCIATES, A DIVISION OF ERG PRAIRIE VILLAGE, KS
Practitioner(s) type: 
Consultant
Summary
Functional unit: 
l'emballage requis pour livrer 10.000 colis représentatif des éléments de matériaux souples pour les clients
Goal and scope of the summary: 
Beginning with acquisition of initial raw materials from the earth, this study examines the sequence of processing steps for the production, use, and disposal of packaging used for retail mail-order soft goods in the U.S. Materials that comprise less than one percent by weight of the packaging products are considered negligible and are not included in this study. Transportation of finished packaging items from the manufacturer to the order fulfillment center or distribution center (Western Oregon) is included. Transportation of packaged products from the order fulfillment center to a representative customer located at the population center of the United States, in central Missouri, is included. Disposal of packaging, adjusted to account for diversion for reuse and recycling, is included. The results shown for each packaging system include the burdens for extraction, processing, delivery, and combustion of all process and transportation fuels used.

The main conclusion that can be drawn from this analysis regarding packaging options for shipping mail-order soft goods to residential customers is that the weight of the packaging is the most critical factor influencing the environmental burdens. Burdens for material production, transportation, and disposal all relate directly to the weight of material that is required. In this analysis, heavy packaging components with a relatively low environmental profile per pound have higher overall environmental burdens than packaging options that are made of materials with higher per-pound burdens but that have lower weights used in packaging.

Manufacturing impact(s): 
Global warming
Manufacturing impact level: 
High
Shipping impact(s): 
Global warming
Shipping impact level: 
High
End of life impact(s): 
Waste generation
End of life impact level: 
High
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