Life Cycle Assessment of Take-Away Food Containers An Analysis of Dry Moulding Compared to Traditional Methods

Examensarbete för masterexamen

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Bibliographical item details
Type: Examensarbete för masterexamen
Title: Life Cycle Assessment of Take-Away Food Containers An Analysis of Dry Moulding Compared to Traditional Methods
Authors: Svensson, Amanda
Abstract: SUMMARY Packaging is a vital part of everyday life, and its wide-spread global use has led to concerns about the environmental impact it can cause. Regulations appearing as a result of these concerns are fuelling the exploration of new packaging technology which reduces the environmental impact. The aim of this study was to explore sustainability efforts occurring in companies working with the Loop Factory with regards to the packaging they use and to conduct a life cycle assessment (LCA) on dry moulded packaging technology being developed by The Loop Factory in comparison to other alternatives in order to assess the environmental impact of the technologies. The packaging application in this study was food takeaway trays. The life cycle assessment conducted was a cradle-to-grave study of dry moulded, wet moulded, and polypropylene food trays. The results of customer interviews show an increased pressure on companies to design and produce packaging with a minimized environmental impact. The results of the LCA list impacts for global warming, acidification, eutrophication, abiotic resource use, and cumulative energy demand. Also shown is a sensitivity analysis for a range of recycling rates, as well as a sensitivity analysis which added a wet moulded tray which was produced in Europe, as the original wet moulded tray shown in the results is made in China, The results of the life cycle assessment show a favourable performance for dry moulded trays in many cases, though particular attention must be paid to the use of different energy systems used when attempting to compare the results, as the wet moulded trays are produced in China, while the rest of the trays are produced in Europe. Sensitivity analysis varying the recycling rate and production location showed the change in the results possible with different choices and allowed for better comparison between the trays. The results emphasize the importance of disclosing modelling choices and transparency when using life cycle assessment. When choosing packaging in the future, users will need to weigh the importance of different environmental impact categories, material choices, and end-of-life treatment in order to decide the best option for packaging.
Keywords: life cycle assessment;moulded pulp;packaging;sustainability
Issue Date: 2021
Publisher: Chalmers tekniska högskola / Institutionen för teknikens ekonomi och organisation
Series/Report no.: E2021_106
Collection:Examensarbeten för masterexamen // Master Theses

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