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01.02.2012 | PULP AND PAPER | Ausgabe 2/2012

The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment 2/2012

Carton for beverage—A decade of process efficiency improvements enhancing its environmental profile

Zeitschrift:
The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment > Ausgabe 2/2012
Autoren:
Anna Lúcia Mourad, Henrique Luvison Gomes da Silva, Júlio César Batista Nogueira
Wichtige Hinweise
Responsible editor: Roland Hischier

Abstract

Purpose

Chain efficiency is currently a key issue for evaluating the sustainability of products and processes. Thus, the objective of this study was to evaluate how the overall efficiency process improvement carried out in the upstream manufacturing chain of LPB (Liquid Packaging Board) has affected the environmental profile over the last 10 years.

Methods

The method employs a life cycle methodology in a cradle-to-gate approach as the material can be used for obtaining beverage containers for different purposes. The scope of this study includes data from forest to rolls of finished cartons.

Results and discussion

Due to a current slightly larger boundary and more detailed data collection, the following improvements (at the minimum) over the last decade can be observed: a) energy consumption has been reduced by 38% reaching the value of 36,700 MJ/t LPB paperboard; b) water consumption has been reduced by 30% reaching a level of 45.85 m3/t LPB paperboard; c) wood consumption has been reduced by 40%, mainly as a result of the introduction of high yield CTMP (chemithermomechanical pulp) along with the increased overall efficiency of the production process and d) land use has been reduced by 69% due to increased forest productivity along with greater efficiency in the use of wood. Significant reductions have also been found related to environmental impacts such as global warming (49% less), photochemical ozone creation (14 times less), acidification (10 times less), eutrophication (8 times less) and human toxicity (6 times less).

Conclusions

The results have clearly shown how important it is to invest in new technologies and more efficient processes to achieve better sustainable levels. This historical perspective is also a benefit from Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodology that allows these types of comparisons and also shows the importance of using new inventories for environmental decisions.

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