Article

Evaluating the sustainability impacts of packaging: The plastic carry bag dilemma

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Abstract

Life cycle assessment (LCA) is used by practitioners and policy-makers to help them understand the sustainability impacts of packaging. LCA is useful because it quantifies the impact of a product throughout its life cycle, from raw materials extraction through to disposal or recovery. However, it can only ever be one input to decisions about the design or procurement of packaging. LCA has limitations as a tool to measure environmental impact and it does not currently evaluate social or financial impact. This paper provides a critical review of the role of LCA in evaluating packaging sustainability. It does this by evaluating the results of LCA studies that compare different types of carry bags and their implications for policy and practice. The benefits and limitations of this type of analysis are discussed. The case study of plastic carry bags demonstrates that while a scientific understanding of life cycle impacts is essential to support informed decision-making, a broader sustainability analysis is required to ensure that all relevant issues are considered. These include the functionality of alternative bags, their relative cost, convenience for consumers and retailers, and the availability of reuse and recovery systems. An alternative approach, which evaluates packaging design within a broader sustainability framework, is presented and discussed. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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... It is important to note that replacing single-use plastics with other single-use materials is often not very efficient. Exchanging plastics for paper might, for example, seem like a good idea but life-cycle analysis show that plastic bags actually have a lower environmental impact (Lewis et al. 2010). Atmospheric emissions for plastic bags are for example 60-70% lower than for paper bags and even at zero recycling rate plastic bags contribute to less waterborne emissions than paper bags (Lewis et al. 2010). ...
... Exchanging plastics for paper might, for example, seem like a good idea but life-cycle analysis show that plastic bags actually have a lower environmental impact (Lewis et al. 2010). Atmospheric emissions for plastic bags are for example 60-70% lower than for paper bags and even at zero recycling rate plastic bags contribute to less waterborne emissions than paper bags (Lewis et al. 2010). It has also been shown that plastic bags use less energy at current recycling rates (Lewis et al. 2010). ...
... Atmospheric emissions for plastic bags are for example 60-70% lower than for paper bags and even at zero recycling rate plastic bags contribute to less waterborne emissions than paper bags (Lewis et al. 2010). It has also been shown that plastic bags use less energy at current recycling rates (Lewis et al. 2010). Furthermore, Carrefour, a French retailer, showed that regardless of material (polyethylene, paper, biodegradable plastics) a reusable polyethylene bag was a better option than single-use carry bags; if used at least four times (cited in Lewis et al. 2010). ...
Thesis
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Plastics are integral parts of our lives and have allowed for important technological leaps within society. However, an unwanted consequence of our current consumption of plas-tics is marine plastic pollution and in order to reduce its impact we need to understand its sources and fate patterns. It is a threefold challenge as it requires suitable methodology, as well as in-depth studies of sources and the various processes that affect the fate of plas-tics. Based on comprehensive tests and evaluations, this thesis provides recommendations on suitable methodologies for sampling, extraction and identification. To further improve the understanding of the fate of plastics in the ocean, in-situ experiments related to oxida-tion and biofouling were performed. Moreover, the distributions of plastic pellets were mapped in a case study area, through field studies and calculations, to understand the spread from local point sources. The results show that floating plastics are prone to beaching and it is concluded that although plastics can be subject to long-range transport, the majority of the pollutants will be found close to the point of release. The studies also show that most floating plastics will eventually sink, due to biofouling and degradation. To provide information on diffuse sources, the evaluated methods were then applied to analyze surface waters, sediment, biota and beach materials. Most microplastics (53-100%) found in the different surveys were identified as fragments of polyethylene, poly-propylene and expanded polystyrene. Since most of the microplastics therefore stem from macroplastics, any attempt to address microplastic pollution needs to have a strong focus on macroplastics. Additionally, pellets and fluff were often encountered and specific point sources related to the production of plastics were examined in an interdisciplinary case study. The study showed continuous spills of plastic pellets associated with production, transportation and storage. The study furthermore illustrated that although there is a legal framework in place, it is not being adequately enforced, which has resulted in limited re-sponsibility and accountability for the involved actors. The studies related to fate process-es illustrate why attempts to decrease plastic pollution need to be focused as close to the source as possible, since that is where prevention and mitigation measures will be most efficient. Furthermore, the results from the field studies are crucial to consider for solu-tion-oriented initiatives. They provide important insights regarding sources and fate of plastic particles, showing that in order to decrease microplastic pollution the main focus needs to be on larger plastics and how we use them. This means working actively to de-crease waste streams through a lower level of consumption, while simultaneously improv-ing waste management strategies to prevent leakage. The increasing interest from multiple stakeholders in academia, amongst policy makers and in the civil society also emphasizes the need for empirical data and clear communication to avoid discrepancies between the perceived and the actual sources and fate of floating plastic particles.
... Globally plastic carry bags have become products of environmental concern (Lewis et al., 2010). In Ghana, plastic carry bags are perceived to impact negatively on the environment by consumers, government and environmental organizations due to their low recovery rates at end of life, high visibility in scattered litter in the environment and blocked drains (visual pollution), and consequent ecological implications such as harm to marine life, livestock, and wildlife. ...
... African countries such as South Africa, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda have already ban the use of plastic carry bags. In Australia, plastic carry bags have been a focus of environmental campaigns since the early 1990s, due to their negative environmental impacts (Lewis et al., 2010). In view of the enormity of the perceived implications of plastic carry bags on environmental sustainability internationally and locally; this research uses it as a case study to develop an alternative shopping carry bag. ...
... Several Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) studies have proven that reusable carry bags are the preferable option to single use bags (Lewis et al, 2010). An example of such study is the streamlined LCA by Lewis et al. (2010) which combined LCA modeling with qualitative review of disposal and recovery options for seven carry bags. ...
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Waste is created out of the use and disposal of packaging. Amount of resources used for packaging production and the waste generated thereof are threats to environmental sustainability if not managed properly. This research assessed consumers understanding and practice of sustainable packaging and its effect on the environment. Plastic carrier bags were also assessed for their environmental sustainability and an alternative design suggested to replace them using the criteria set by Sustainable Packaging Coalition. Observations were that consumers did not have knowledge about sustainable packaging. However, a high proportion of the consumers practiced reusing of packaging, which was a positive attitude for environmental sustainability. The study found out that reusing was environmentally friendly; consequently, the single use plastic bags were environmentally unsustainable. Alternative design that meet the requirements of the market and addresses the environmental impacts of importance have been suggested. For consumer’s participation in sustainable packaging, they have to be continuously educated on sustainability concepts and the role of packaging in sustainable development.
... The rationale for cutting back on single-use bags rests on the assumption that the full economic cost (including public and private costs) of alternatives are lower. There is evidence that reusable carrier bags have lower environmental impacts than single-use bags, although the benefits are highly sensitive to usage rates (they assume reuse of 50 times) [75]. There is also a risk of perverse outcomes, for example higher usage of heavier plastic bags which are not necessarily reused and so still find their way into the waste stream [76]. ...
... There is also a risk of perverse outcomes, for example higher usage of heavier plastic bags which are not necessarily reused and so still find their way into the waste stream [76]. The analysis of sensitivity to reuse rates suggests that consumers should be encouraged to buy reusable bags, and then to keep using those bags over a considerable period rather than regularly buying new ones [75]. In particular, bags should never be given away free, because this would encourage over-consumption. ...
... LCAs which compare paper products with polymer products only exist for carrier bags. Lewis et al. [21] reviewed a number of comparative LCA studies and found that "paper has the highest environmental impact in most categories". In contrast, Mattila et al. [22] state in their LCA study which took different EoL scenarios into account that they "could not discern plastic, paper, and cotton bags without limiting the analysis to some subset of situations". ...
... Boucher and Billard [24] argue that current LCAs neglect plastic pollution. Schweitzer et al. [25] as well as Lewis et al. [21] are critical of the fact that LCAs do not consider environmental leakage in their waste management scenarios. In 2016, a review of quantitative approaches for cause-effect assessments included marine plastic debris but stated that, at the time, there were no effect factors which quantify the effect of marine plastic on biodiversity [26]. ...
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Governments around the world are introducing single-use plastics bans to alleviate plastic marine pollution. This paper investigates whether banning single-use plastic items is an appropriate strategy to protect the environment. Product life cycle assessment was conducted for single-use plastic and single-use non-plastic alternatives. The life cycle impacts of the two product categories were compared and scaled according to EU consumption of 2016. The results show that a single-use plastics ban would decrease plastic marine pollution in the EU by 5.5% which equates to a 0.06% decrease globally. However, such a ban would increase emissions contributing to marine aquatic toxicity in the EU by 1.4%. This paper concludes that single-use items are harmful to the environment regardless of their material. Therefore, banning or imposing a premium price on single-use items in general and not only single-use plastic items is a more effective method of reducing consumption and thereby pollution. The plastics ban only leads to a small reduction of global plastic marine pollution and thus provides only a partial solution to the problem it intends to solve.
... For reusable packaging systems to be successful, a number of characteristics need to be aligned, such as cycle times and frequency, delivery distances, production processes, and reverse logistics [36,37,40,42]. Failing to achieve a balance might result in an overall worse environmental outcome [42,43]. An essential factor for the successful implementation of reusable packaging is the acceptance within retail environments, covering both traditional retail and e-commerce, and from the perspectives of the retailer and consumers alike. ...
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With increasing emphasis on the environmental impact of product-packaging combinations comes a growing appreciation for systemic improvements in the way packaging acts within supply chains. One of the innovation directions at the centre of attention is reusable and refillable packaging. In various forms, these are being researched for their potential to act as a packaging concept, and developed as a market-ready alternative to one-way or single-use packaging. Both in the European Commission's Circular Economy Action Plan and packaging strategies developed by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, reusable packaging is adopted as a valuable scenario. In this research, we set out to develop a decision support tool that can assist in developing product-packaging combinations for reuse/refill scenarios. The development of the tool is based on a designerly approach, combining literature research and interviews with industry stakeholders applying reusable packaging concepts in their product marketing, or considering to do so. Complexities in the development and application of the tool do not only come from specific product-packaging combinations, but also from the system in which these interact: retail, use, reverse logistics, and repurposing require an overhaul of their impact. The developed tool is tested by means of a multi-concept analysis, and a reflection. Eight student groups are invited to design reusable/refillable packaging concepts, for a product of their choice. Analysing the designs with the tool provides insights into the decision-making process, and a set of potential redesign considerations. With this, we assess the value of the designed concepts and the benefits of the tool for decision-making processes when developing reusable packaging concepts. The latter point is valuable for comparison to other packaging decision-making tools, and to be able to make improvements. In follow-up research, we set out to apply the decision support tool for industry-based design processes, to understand its usability for packaging designers.
... Packaging sustainability is crucial for organizations, such as the organization of sustainable packaging coalitions in the USA. The sustainable packaging alliance described sustainable packaging based on the literature review with four major criteria (Lewis et al. 2010). Firstly, the use of sustainable materials is crucial. ...
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... O rápido crescimento econômico e o consequente consumo excessivo aceleraram a deterioração ambiental em todo o mundo, levando a crescentes preocupações ambientais relacionadas ao consumo (Taufique & Vaithianathan, 2018). Nesse cenário, um dos grandes vilões da sustentabilidade, que contribui para a degradação do meio ambiente e causa um grande impacto ambiental, é o plástico (Lewis, Verghese & Fitzpatrick, 2010;Eriksen, Lebreton, Carson, Thiel, Moore, Borerro, & Reisser 2014). ...
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A preocupação com questões ambientais está cada vez mais presente na sociedade (Elduque, Javierre, Elduque, & Fernández, 2015). O rápido crescimento econômico e o consequente consumo excessivo aceleraram a deterioração ambiental em todo o mundo, levando a crescentes preocupações ambientais relacionadas ao consumo (Taufique & Vaithianathan, 2018). Nesse cenário, um dos grandes vilões da sustentabilidade, que contribui para a degradação do meio ambiente e causa um grande impacto ambiental, é o plástico (Lewis, Verghese & Fitzpatrick, 2010). Portanto, este estudo tem como objetivo entender a relação entre a consciência ambiental do consumidor e o comportamento de consumo de calçados plásticos, considerando-se aqui os atributos e a características deste produto. Sun, Liu, e Zhao (2019) afirmam que o nível de consumo e degradação ambiental aumentaram nos últimos anos. Dessa forma, a preocupação com a consciência ambiental se tornou essencial tanto para os acadêmicos quanto os profissionais. Sob essa perspectiva, defende-se que os consumidores que apresentam maior consciência ambiental são, frequentemente, mais inclinados a mudar seu comportamento positivamente em relação ao meio ambiente (Han & Kim, 2010; Suki, 2016), demonstrando, assim, maiores comportamentos pró-ambientais, entretanto, a consciência ambiental depende das características dos produtos. Adotou-se abordagem qualitativa. Como método de coleta de dados, utilizou-se entrevistas com roteiro semiestruturado. A análise revela três temas relacionados ao comportamento ambiental do consumidor de calçados plásticos e sua relação com os impactos ambientais decorrentes: consciência ambiental, comportamento pró-ambiental e atributos de produto. Com a perspectiva de entender a relação entre características do produto e consciência ambiental, 11 entrevistas foram conduzidas e pontos importantes observados. Dubeux e Correa (2011), mencionaram que as pessoas te?m conhecimento a respeito dos problemas ambientais, porém mesmo detendo a informac?a?o na?o a colocam em pra?tica, na?o deixam de comprar produtos de empresas que na?o respeitam os limites ambientais e relutam em abrir ma?o de algo em detrimento da natureza e o bem-estar social.
... The misperception of the relative environmental impacts of plastic is particularly important to recognize given potential environmental problem-shifting as consumers adopt substitutes with less favorable attributes, which has been shown to occur as a result of plastic bans. 35 An increasing trend to substitute single-use plastic packaging with single-use glass-based packaging is particularly troublesome from a life cycle energy and GHG perspective. When comparing the relative environmental impacts of single-use glass and plastic, plastic has been shown to be significantly better in terms of energy use, greenhouse gas emissions, and multiple other environmental impact categories. ...
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This article explores five commonly held perceptions that do not correspond with current scientific knowledge surrounding the environmental impacts of single-use plastic. These misperceptions include: (1) plastic packaging is the largest contributor to the environmental impact of a product; (2) plastic has the most environmental impact of all packaging materials; (3) reusable products are always better than single-use plastics; (4) recycling and composting should be the highest priority; (5) "zero waste"efforts that eliminate single-use plastics minimize the environmental impacts of an event. This paper highlights the need for environmental scientists and engineers to put the complex environmental challenges of plastic waste into better context, integrating a holistic, life cycle perspective into research efforts and discussions that shape public policy.
... Injection foam molding is a promising technology that helps to keep up with sustainability concerns in the plastic industry [1][2][3]. It uses supercritical gases (mostly N2 and CO2) that are dissolved in the polymer melt. As soon as the polymer-gas-mixture enters the cavity, the creation of a thermodynamic instability (pressure drop), leads to the formation of bubbles in the core of the component. ...
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Injection foam molding provides the industry with advantages from production through to the life cycle of plastic components. Despite numerous applications, many questions regarding the fundamentals of this technology are fraught with uncertainty. One aspect of supreme importance is the relationship between the gas content during processing and its influence on the process and part performance. To refine the foaming technology and to comply with modern market requirements, it is crucial to understand this dependence, as proper process design and tailoring of mechanical properties require this knowledge. This work represents a thorough investigation of the influence of CO2 content on both the process and the produced components. Using talc filled polypropylene in a MuCell® process, initially the dynamic solubility limit, i.e. the ultimate amount of gas dispersible in the polymer melt during an injection molding process, was determined via a bulk modulus methodology. During this procedure, foamed plates were molded at different CO2 contents. Processing parameters, morphology and bending behavior of the produced plates were monitored and measured. The results show interesting mechanical behavior, especially close to the determined solubility limit. Based on these outcomes our experiments clearly argue for larger gas contents in physical foaming, which also benefit injection pressure/work or torque during processing. In contrast to these findings, trials with a chemical blowing agent (also yielding CO2) were carried out with the same material. The TGA of the blowing agent yielded an astonishing difference regarding gas concentration in the melt of one order of magnitude compared to physical foaming. In spite of the vanishingly small amounts of gas in chemical foaming, a fine morphology developed. This study provides novel insights into the complexity of injection foam molding, critically assesses gas contents during processing but also poses new questions.
... Against the backdrop of greenhouse gas emissions and the concomitant climate change, sustainability has become a central objective [1,2]. In the past decades, polyolefins-and of the semi-crystalline types, especially polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene (PE) [3]-have become increasingly important in material sciences. ...
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... However, in such cases, LCA studies remains not conclusive. As examples, a previous study carried out by Lewis et al. [71] based on LCAs on those options, reported that paper has higher environmental impacts in most categories when compared to single-use plastic bags. However, Mattila et al. [72] could not discern differences between plastic, paper, and cotton bags when they took different end of life scenarios into account. ...
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Plas­tics have be­come a se­vere trans­bound­ary threat to nat­ural ecosys­tems and hu­man health, with stud­ies pre­dict­ing a twofold in­crease in the num­ber of plas­tic de­bris (in­clud­ing mi­cro and nano-sized plas­tics) by 2030. How­ever, such pre­dic­tions will likely be ag­gra­vated by the ex­ces­sive use and con­sump­tion of sin­gle-use plas­tics (in­clud­ing per­sonal pro­tec­tive equip­ment such as masks and gloves) due to COVID-19 pan­demic. This re­view aimed to pro­vide a com­pre­hen­sive overview on the ef­fects of COVID-19 on macroplas­tic pol­lu­tion and its po­ten­tial im­pli­ca­tions on the en­vi­ron­ment and hu­man health con­sid­er­ing short- and long-term sce­nar­ios; ad­dress­ing the main chal­lenges and dis­cussing po­ten­tial strate­gies to over­come them. It em­pha­sises that fu­ture mea­sures, in­volved in an emer­gent health cri­sis or not, should re­flect a bal­ance be­tween pub­lic health and en­vi­ron­men­tal safety as they are both un­doubt­edly con­nected. Al­though the use and con­sump­tion of plas­tics sig­nif­i­cantly im­proved our qual­ity of life, it is cru­cial to shift to­wards sus­tain­able al­ter­na­tives, such as bio-based plas­tics. Plas­tics should re­main in the top of the po­lit­i­cal agenda in Eu­rope and across the world, not only to min­imise plas­tic leak­age and pol­lu­tion, but to pro­mote sus­tain­able growth and to stim­u­late both green and blue- economies. Dis­cus­sions on this topic, par­tic­u­larly con­sid­er­ing the ex­ces­sive use of plas­tic, should start soon with the in­volve­ment of the sci­en­tific com­mu­nity, plas­tic pro­duc­ers and politi­cians in or­der to be pre­pared for the near fu­ture.
... Polyethylene (PE) is one of the most common plastic products in the world (Saibuatrong et al., 2017). Polyolefins (PE and polypropylene (PP)) are inexpensive, light, robust, highly malleable and ductile, resist damage by water, air, grease and cleaning solvents that the polymers encounter during its usage (World Economic Forum, 2018;Lewis et al., 2010;Perugini et al., 2005). Low-density, linear low-density and highdensity PE (LDPE, LLDPE, HDPE, respectively) represented 26% of the global plastics demand in 2012 (Saibuatrong et al., 2017). ...
Article
Plastic grocery bags are one of the most ubiquitous single-use packaging products. Recently, ‘eco-friendly’ options of plastic grocery bags have gained traction such as kraft paper, cotton, biodegradable, and reusable polypropylene non-woven bags. However, the impact of using various grocery bags in cities with dense population, well-developed infrastructure and thermal treatment as an end-of-life waste management option has been insufficiently documented. In this study, commonly found single-use (HDPE, biodegradable plastic, kraft paper) bags and reusable (cotton, polypropylene non-woven) bags were considered for the life cycle assessment (LCA). The usage characteristics (reusability, dimensions, carrying capacity) of bags, the production process (raw materials extraction, production processes), and emissions were determined as the significant factors contributing to the negative environmental impacts. In a model city with confined waste management, the assessment determined that the reusable polypropylene non-woven bag (PNB) caused the least overall negative environmental impacts when there are 50 instances of reuse, followed by single use HDPE plastic bag (HPB). The global warming potential (excluding biogenic carbon) was 14, 81, 17 and 16 times higher for HDPE plastic, kraft paper, cotton woven and biodegradable polymer bags, respectively, when compared to PNB. Moreover, kraft paper or cotton woven bags demonstrated the highest negative impacts for the impact categories including abiotic fossil depletion, freshwater-, marine- and terrestrial-ecotoxicities, human toxicity, acidification and eutrophication potentials. Further, sensitivity analysis indicated that the inflexion point for the PNB was minimum 4 reuses to avoid emission equivalent to the HPB. Singapore was adopted as the model city with confined waste management structure that imports most of the grocery bags, either as finished goods or as raw materials. Through comprehensive insights based on the new outlook of the integrated LCA model (cradle-to-grave) that included full-scale transportation component, the usage of the real case data from a city to develop the life cycle inventory, and consideration of the existing grocery bags options, the environmental assessment along with critical evaluation was conducted.
... The second includes studies focusing on packaging and products contained within as a whole [50], investigating how consumers relate to the visual and verbal signals [7,51], and suggesting that consumers strongly rely on material/structural information when establishing an opinion on packaging sustainability [28,46,51]. ...
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Sustainable packaging design plays a strategic role across several industries. Using the Italian market as the perimeter of the analysis, this paper aims to broaden the knowledge of corporate attitudes, perceptions, and behaviors toward sustainable packaging along the entire supply chain. A mixed-method approach was used, integrating qualitative and quantitative data collected from 33 in-depth interviews and a survey on a sample of 462 companies. The results revealed that a challenging goal will consist of reconciling technological advances and marketing instances, and that the entire supply chain should be synergistically involved in packaging sustainability. It was also found that larger companies consider sustainability as part of a broader business strategy, whereas smaller ones possess a tactical vision. The study provides valuable insights to better comprehend and manage a complex ecosystem such as that of sustainable packaging.
... Although sustainable packaging may be as a marketing tool for distinguishing and promoting a new packaging material, it is, in fact, an extremely specialized concept and a noticeably more serious and complicated topic (Yam and Lee 2012). So some organizations such as Sustainable Packaging Alliance (SPA) in Australia and Sustainable Packaging Coalition (SPC) in the USA have defined "sustainable packaging" based on the literature and a survey of important stakeholders, which its feedback highlighted the importance and need of socialenvironmental balance (Lewis et al. 2010). ...
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Plastics are durable materials, lightweight, and inexpensive, which can readily be molded into a variety of products. Hence, plastic bottles have a wide range of applications to the extent that their production has increased markedly over the last decades. However, the durability of plastic bottles could have detrimental effects on the environment, mainly because substantial quantities of discarded end-of-life plastics are accumulating as debris in landfills and in natural habitats worldwide. As a consequence, sustainable recycling of post-consumer bottle plastic solid waste seems to be a vital necessity for the environment, because it brings about positive results such as reducing oil usage, quantities of waste requiring disposal, carbon dioxide emissions, and finally contributing to sustainable development.
... Countries have different phase-out targets, for instance, on plastic bags (Lewis et al., 2010) or incandescent lamps (Waide, 2010). Similar targets can be devised for single-use products, disposable straws, useless secondary packages, or even for some products that can be substituted by nonmaterial ones (e.g. ...
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The transition to a circular economy requires actions and policies. In the praxis of governance, a common way to steer the transition to a different state proceeds through the setting of targets. Thus far, no study has investigated circular economy targets in a systematic way. To bridge this gap, this study examines which targets can facilitate the transition towards a circular economy. The analysis focuses both on existing and new targets; the latter complement existing targets which are limited to a few discrete cases addressing only partially the goal of a more circular economy. A framework based on 10 common circular economy strategies (i.e. recover, recycling, repurpose, remanufacture, refurbish, repair, re-use, reduce, rethink, refuse) is applied to scrutinise the selected targets. The study clarifies that existing targets for recovery and recycling do not necessarily promote a circular economy, though they are the most commonly applied targets so far. Because of lack of efficacy of recovery and recycling, targets should instead favour other more powerful circular economy strategies. In relation to these, the study looks into new and existing targets showing how they can reduce waste, increase efficiency, close production loops, and maximise retention of the economic value of materials and products. In particular, the study proposes an expanded set of brand new targets for the transition to a circular economy together with a fresh view on targets aimed at scholars and decision-makers alike.
... Although sustainable packaging may be as a marketing tool for distinguishing and promoting a new packaging material, it is, in fact, an extremely specialized concept and a noticeably more serious and complicated topic (Yam and Lee 2012). So some organizations such as Sustainable Packaging Alliance (SPA) in Australia and Sustainable Packaging Coalition (SPC) in the USA have defined "sustainable packaging" based on the literature and a survey of important stakeholders, which its feedback highlighted the importance and need of socialenvironmental balance (Lewis et al. 2010). ...
Chapter
Full-text available
Plastics are durable materials, lightweight, and inexpensive, which can readily be molded into a variety of products. Hence, plastic bottles have a wide range of applications to the extent that their production has increased markedly over the last decades. However, the durability of plastic bottles could have detrimental effects on the environment, mainly because substantial quantities of discarded end-of-life plastics are accumulating as debris in landfills and in natural habitats worldwide. As a consequence, sustainable recycling of post-consumer bottle plastic solid waste seems to be a vital necessity for the environment, because it brings about positive results such as reducing oil usage, quantities of waste requiring disposal, carbon dioxide emissions, and finally contributing to sustainable development.
... With the advance of the production and use of plastic packaging, from fossil sources, as well as the diffi culty of proper management of post-consumer waste, there has been a deliberate disposal of these materials in the environment, resulting in environmental impacts and consequences for human health.In this sense, concerns on environmental issues have been raised about the use of non-biodegradable and non-renewable materials applied in packaging (Khalil et al., 2016). A useful technique capable of quantifying the impact of a product and its life cycle is the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), which considers all its stages, from the extraction of raw materials to the elimination or recovery of the material (Lewis et al., 2010). ...
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Food packaging is an essential tool in the food industry for protecting products from environmental interference that may be detrimental to the product and to the consumers’ health. As a result, the global packaging market is growing and stimulates the development of new technologies to meet the industrial demand. However, with the growth of the production and use of materials from fossil sources, as well as the lack of adequate programs for post-consumer waste management, there has been a deliberate disposal of these materials into the environment, resulting in ecological impacts and health consequences. In this sense, renewable sources have gained prominence and biologically originated materials are one of the main alternatives for new applications in packaging.
... Efforts to dematerialize the economy with Circular Economy practices, for instance, may have negative impacts on water consumption and energy consumption, leading to climate change [31]. Efforts to replace plastic bags with paper bags have negative impacts on land use because more trees are needed [32]. Ongoing discussions of how to measure green growth [33,34] cast doubts on existing indexes and decoupling projections and coalesce with controversy on what should be considered a green job [35] or green exports (Kang and Lee in this SI) (4). ...
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“We are ethically obliged and incited to think beyond what are treated as the realistic limits of the possible” [...]
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A substituicao de materias primas fosseis por alternativas renovaveis e aparentemente obvia. Neste sentido, os polimeros renovaveis, biodegradaveis e compostaveis estao sendo aplicados como alternativas ao consumo acelerado de polimeros convencionais usados em embalagens. Este estudo contribui buscando responder a seguinte questao: Os biopolimeros sao alternativas sustentaveis em substituicao aos polimeros convencionais em aplicacoes de embalagens? Apos uma revisao sistematica de literatura (RSL) sobre os biopolimeros aplicados em embalagens, realizou-se uma analise sobre seus impactos baseando-se em tres criterios de sustentabilidade: a) Os Criterios para o Desenvolvimento de Embalagens Sustentaveis; b) Os Objetivos de Desenvolvimento Sustentavel; c) Criterios de Economia Circular. Em resposta a questao de pesquisa e apresentada o estado da arte dos biopolimeros potenciais para embalagens e caracteristicas frente aos criterios de avaliacao segundo os autores da RSL. Pelo levantamento de dados, observou-se que tecnicas avancadas de obtencao habilitam os biopolimeros economicamente e que, ambientalmente, existe consenso positivo para alguns tipos de materiais. Porem, e necessaria maior maturidade tecnologica e capacidade de escala produtiva para reducao dos custos dentro do cenario de competicao com os polimeros convencionais.
... However, this plastic also makes the industry unsustainable, with post-use products from consumers that will become non-recyclable waste. More and more plastic waste accumulates worldwide and will cause a negative impact that will become a problem in the next generation (Farmer, 2013;Lewis et al., 2010). ...
... Surprisingly, the answer is that plastic bags "cost" less to the environment than their "natural" paper counterparts when they can be recycled, in large part because they are lighter but also because paper manufacture and recycling are energy intensive and generate chemical effluents. 148,224 It is also interesting to compare scenarios in which paper is recycled (in a closed-loop scenario) or inciner-ated, or in which the "untouched" forest, spared due to recycling, can be used for something else, such as biofuel production as a replacement for fossil fuels, or simply as an energy source. 225,226 Unsurprisingly, the latter scenario is the most advantageous in terms of energy use, CO 2 emissions and SO 2 emissions. ...
Article
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Cellulose in particular and phytomass in general are at the heart of our food system. They are also a central energy vector and a vital source of materials. In this article, a multiscale approach to the complex issue of lignocellulose sustainability is developed. Global thermodynamic concepts help to place current biomass exploitation in a global energetic context. In particular, the notion of entropy appears pivotal to understand energy and material fluxes at the scale of the planet and the limits of biomass production. Entropy is, however, best described at the microscopic scale, despite its large-scale consequences. Recent advances in entropy-driven colloid assembly parallel nature's choices and lignocellulose assembly at the nanometric scale. The functional concept of exergy is then developed and a few examples of its concrete use in photosynthesis and biorefinery research are given. In a subsequent part, an evaluation of the relative importance of biomass is performed with respect to non-renewable materials. This discussion helps to explain the interdependence of resources, including ores and fossil fuels. This interdependence has important consequences for current and future biomass uses. Some of these dependences are then quantitatively discussed using life cycle analysis (LCA) results from the literature. These results are of importance to different technological fields such as paper, biobased insulation, construction wood, information and communication technologies, and biobased textiles. A conclusion is then drawn that exposes the research tracks that are the most likely to be sustainable, including self-assembly, exergetically favourable options and low tech solutions.
... Some of these technologies date back as far as 1976 (McDaniel 2020). However, the interest in mixing plastic into asphalt mixtures, either as an aggregate extender, a binder extender or a binder modifier, has accelerated since 2015 as the waste plastic epidemic has come into the focus of governments around the world and the belief that using recycled plastic in asphalt production will contribute the solving the waste plastic challenge (Lewis et al. 2010). ...
Conference Paper
This research compared two recycled plastic products to conventional polymers commonly used for bituminous binder and asphalt mixture production. Samples of the same penetration grade bitumen were modified with 6% of the recycled plastic products, as well as 2%–6% of conventional elastomeric and plastomeric polymers. Testing included index properties and rheological properties used in the United Kingdom and the United States. The results were compared to determine the dosage of conventional polymer that was equivalent to 6% recycled plastic. It was found that 6% recycled plastic was generally equivalent to 3%–6% conventional plastomeric polymer. Although some properties were also comparable to those associated with 3%–4% conventional elastomeric polymer, the force ductility was significantly lower, indicating lower asphalt crack resistance. It was concluded that these recycled plastic products should be considered as a sustainable source of plastomeric polymer for the modification of bituminous binders, rather than as simple binder extenders.
... Against the backdrop of climate change, sustainability has become a prime objective [1,2]. The importance of polymeric materials is growing rapidly. ...
Article
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We present a novel measurement die for characterizing the flow behavior of gas-containing polymer melts. The die is mounted directly on the injection-molding cylinder in place of the mold cavity and thus enables near-process measurement of viscosity (i.e., under the conditions that would be present were a mold attached). This integration also resolves the issue of keeping gas-containing polymer melts under pressure during measurement to prevent desorption. After thermal characterization of the die, various correction approaches were compared against each other to identify the most suitable one for our case. We conducted measurements using polypropylene in combination with two different chemical blowing agents. Increasing the blowing-agent content to up to 6% revealed an interestingly low influence of gases on melt viscosity, which was confirmed by elongational viscosity measurements. For verification, we compared our results to corresponding measurements taken on a high-pressure capillary rheometer and found that they were in excellent agreement. Our die cannot only be used for rheological characterization. Combined with ultrasound sensors, it provides an innovative way of measuring the volumetric flow rate. This development represents an important step in improving the sustainability of gas-containing polymer processing.
... In the case of polymeric materials of petrochemical origin, the landfilling stage of waste management, the process of natural decomposition of polyolefins, for example, takes up to several hundred years. This is a direct cause of the ever increasing environmental pollution from plastic waste [59][60][61]. The use of biodegradable polymers, especially those that degrade under conditions other than their operating conditions, allows the situation to be reversed. ...
Article
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The results of comprehensive studies on accelerated (artificial) ageing and biodegradation of polymer biocomposites on PBS matrix filled with raw wheat bran (WB) are presented in this paper. These polymer biocomposites are intended for the manufacture of goods, in particular disposable packaging and disposable utensils, which decompose naturally under the influence of biological agents. The effects of wheat bran content within the range of 10–50 wt.% and extruder screw speed of 50–200 min−1 during the production of biocomposite pellets on the resistance of the products to physical, chemical, and biological factors were evaluated. The research included the determination of the effect of artificial ageing on the changes of structural and thermal properties by infrared spectra (FTIR), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), and thermogravimetric analysis (TG). They showed structural changes—disruption of chains within the ester bond, which occurred in the composition with 50% bran content as early as after 250 h of accelerated ageing. An increase in the degree of crystallinity with ageing was also found to be as high as 48% in the composition with 10% bran content. The temperature taken at the beginning of weight loss of the compositions studied was also lowered, even by 30 °C at the highest bran content. The changes of mechanical properties of biocomposite samples were also investigated. These include: hardness, surface roughness, transverse shrinkage, weight loss, and optical properties: colour and gloss. The ageing hardness of the biocomposite increased by up to 12%, and the surface roughness (Ra) increased by as much as 2.4 µm at the highest bran content. It was also found that ageing causes significant colour changes of the biocomposition (ΔE = 7.8 already at 10% bran content), and that the ageing-induced weight loss of the biocomposition of 0.31–0.59% is lower than that of the samples produced from PBS alone (1.06%). On the other hand, the transverse shrinkage of moldings as a result of ageing turned out to be relatively small, at 0.05%–0.35%. The chemical resistance of biocomposites to NaOH and HCl as well as absorption of polar and non-polar liquids (oil and water) were also determined. Biodegradation studies were carried out under controlled conditions in compost and weight loss of the tested compositions was determined. The weight of samples made from PBS alone after 70 days of composting decreased only by 4.5%, while the biocomposition with 10% bran content decreased by 15.1%, and with 50% bran, by as much as 68.3%. The measurements carried out showed a significant influence of the content of the applied lignocellulosic fillers (LCF) in the form of raw wheat bran (WB) on the examined properties of the biocompositions and the course of their artificial ageing and biodegradation. Within the range under study, the screw speed of the extruder during the production of biocomposite pellets did not show any significant influence on most of the studied properties of the injection mouldings produced from it.
... The comparative sustainability of paper and card products, on the other hand, is less clear as their manufacture relies heavily on freshwater resources, land use and produces greater carbon emissions. Nonetheless, compared to plastics they contain fewer additive chemicals and can be more easily recycled (Lewis et al., 2010). While plastics are widely reviled, and indeed their longevity poses a great problem if they enter the environment, in fact the key issue is today's throwaway culture, dominated by single-use items, regardless of material type. ...
Article
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Plastic pollution is one of today’s great environmental challenges. Research addressing the issue of plastic pollution is growing, improving our predictions of risk, and informing the development of long-term solutions and mitigations. Nonetheless, sufficient evidence already exists to show that immediate and widespread action must be taken to reduce plastic release to the environment, and thus limit future harm. Given the cross-sector and multi-stakeholder approach that will be required to address plastic pollution, it is essential that contrasting opinions and misconceptions are tackled with respect to the status of knowledge, relative importance of plastics as an environmental stressor, and measures to reduce or mitigate harm from plastics in the environment. This perspective article lays out some key considerations and recommendations for moving forward with respect to both research and action.
... The result showed that the solution provided a strong contribution to the reduction in the consumption of plastics and the prevention of marine pollution. Lewis et al. [34] assessed the influence of plastic bag waste on the environment by LCA, and the LCA results suggested that replacing one type of single-use bags (plastic) with another (e.g., paper or biodegradable plastic) might increase rather than decrease environmental impacts. Arı and Yılmaz [35] examined consumer attitudes and behaviors on the use of plastic and cloth bags and then proposed a structural equation model. ...
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Since 1 January 2021, China has banned nondegradable disposable straws in the catering industry. To promote the enforcement of the ban of plastic straws and improve the relationship between economic development and environmental protection, based on the evolutionary game method, this paper constructs the game model from the supply side and the demand side, respectively. Subsequently, through the dynamic equation, stable system evolution strategy is obtained. Furthermore, simulation is conducted to test the influence of the main parameters in the model on the evolution of system strategy. The results show that (1) the change of the government strategy mainly depends on its regulation costs and revenue, while the production strategy of a company is affected by the government and consumer strategies. (2) From the perspective of enterprise supply, government subsidies can promote technological innovation and develop new plastic straw substitutes. However, government penalties have little effect on violating enterprises. In addition, from the perspective of enterprise demand, with the collaboration of enterprises and consumers, it is easier for enterprises to carry out technological innovation. (3) Consumer acceptance of the substitutes for disposable plastic straws as well as online comments have a decisive influence on the enterprises’ selections for research and development (R&D) strategies.
... The average household is estimated to use around 400 carrier bags each year (Hay, 2010). The perceived impact of these bags include the consumption of non-renewable resources to manufacture a single-use product, low recovery rates at end of life and high visibility and ecological impacts as litter (Lewis, Verghese & Fitzpatrick, 2010). In addition, plastic carrier bag concerns have been raised as they have now come to be seen as a symbol of a modern ecological crisis due to concerns over waste management (Hawkins, 2001). ...
Article
The increased usage of non-biodegradable packaging materials is an integral part of our modern life and they are used in many daily activities. Generally, plastics are synthesized from non-renewable sources and are mostly not biodegradable, while waste plastics are the cause of many of the serious environmental problems the world faces today. This study investigated consumer behaviour and perceptions related to the increased use of plastic bags in transporting household goods from shops. Specifically, the study identified the status and effectiveness of the use of non-biodegradable packaging methods amongst retailing establishments (cold stores and super markets) in the Kingdom of Bahrain in terms of usage, recycling strategies adopted, disposal, the problems encountered and impact on the environment. A descriptive study research method was used in this study. The researcher also used five point Likert-like scales in the study. The respondents strongly agreed that there is high usage of plastic bags in the Kingdom of Bahrain. The reasons given for this included durability, cheaper prices, lighter than other alternatives and easy storage. The respondents moderately agreed that recycling strategies adopted by both the retail establishments and the consumers are in place in the Kingdom of Bahrain but indiscriminate use and disposal of these plastic carrier bags does pose a significant environmental threat to the country. Again, the study found that since most plastic waste is disposed of in landfill sites where, although not visible, bags are nevertheless coming to the surface as debris and are affecting marine life as well as being ingested by animals like camels. In addition, the conditions within landfills are causing the chemicals contained within the plastic to become more readily available to the environment and this is a particular concern in a small island like the Kingdom of Bahrain, where landfill management is not as closely monitored as in the developed countries. Plastic carrier bags were found to be favoured in transporting high-risk food products to avoid possible cross contamination. Consumers’ perceptions and usage behaviours in connection with respective government’s policies and implementation of recycling systems could be highly decisive in reducing the eco-impact of plastic and paper shopping bags. Keywords: disposal to landfill, plastic bags, recycle, reduce, reuse, usage
... Lewis et al. [95] Strategies for sustainable packaging design Sampaio et al. [96] Redesign of products based on user needs ...
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The plastic economy, despite offering unique properties in fulfilling the functions of products in different industrial sectors over decades, has so far been mainly linear, that is, “take‐make and dispose” with only a small fraction of plastics being recycled worldwide. With ever‐increasing circular economy initiatives and the urge to conserve resources and prevent plastic pollution from affecting ecosystems, more emphasis on the resource recovery of plastic products after its use has been made over the last few years. It is necessary for manufacturers to understand the value chain as early as the design phase while manufacturing and distributing plastic products across the world. The current study provides an overview of the status quo of plastic waste management and analyzes the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) studies of different End‐of‐Life (EoL) options for plastics. Based on the LCA studies, a preliminary, country‐specific Circular Footprint (CF) is calculated and Design for Recycling (DfR) strategies are identified. Results show that the environmental impacts of different EoL options differ significantly for different plastics. The CF highlights the lack of data regarding the composition and recovery of plastics in different countries thus showing the necessity to consider the whole lifecycle when quantifying the environmental impacts of plastics. To understand the environmental impacts of treating plastic wastes, a review on the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) studies of End‐of‐Life (EoL) options of different plastic types is conducted. A preliminary Circular Footprint (CF) for treating plastic wastes in different countries is calculated from the environmental impacts. Based on these results, Design for Recycling (DfR) strategies are identified in this study.
... Meanwhile, packaging plays a central role in extending food shelf-life, helping to curb waste (Barlow and Morgan, 2013;Risch, 2009 In addition, strategies to curb plastics use are likely to exchange plastic packages for another material. However, due to their light weight and ease of manufacture, plastic packaging is less carbon intensive than many alternatives, including glass, tin, and paper (Ingarao, 2017;Lewis, H., 2010). While many consumers regard plastics as inherently problematic, the truth is that they often represent the most environmentally friendly option (Ketelsen et al., 2020). ...
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Plastic waste is a global environmental problem. However, management solutions must be developed within local, institutional contexts. This paper considers the Government of Canada’s ‘proposed integrated management approach to plastic products’ both as a strategy for management and as an expression of federal jurisdiction. What is the policy problem to which they are responding, and how are they characterizing that problem in order to claim jurisdiction? Most importantly, what are the policy implications of this jurisdictional question?
... But mainly it must address the use of innovative and functional materials that promote economic and environmental health [17] . In this regard, packaging must meet some principles for sustainable materials such as: functionality, effectively protecting the packaged product; efficiency, consuming a minimum of materials, water, and energy; cyclic, generating minimal waste; safety, clean and safe and causing no risks to the environment [18,19] . For the development of packaging, a set of mechanical and chemical properties is evaluated. ...
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The replacement of fossil raw materials by renewable alternatives is imper�ative. Renewable, biodegradable, and compostable polymers are options to be developed and adopted. Embedded in this concept, the present study evaluates whether biopolymers are sustainable alternatives to replace tra�ditional polymers used in packaging, such as polyethylene. To that end, a systematic literature review (SLR) was carried out on biopolymers applied to packaging, with an analysis of its impacts. Three sustainability crite�ria were adopted: a) Criteria for Developing Sustainable Packaging; b) Goals of Sustainable Development; and c) Circular Economy Criteria. The Methodology Section presents the state of the art of potential polymers for packaging and their characteristics related to the evaluation criteria adopted based on the SLR. Through data collection, it was observed that advanced obtaining techniques enable polymers economically and that, environ�mentally speaking, there is a positive consensus about some types of those materials. However, technological maturity and productive scale capacity are necessary to reduce costs in a competitive scenario with conventional polymers.
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Single-use bags have been restricted or banned in various parts of the world. The exploration of substitute alternatives such as reusable and biodegradable bags, and the use of other materials such as paper and cotton have been required. The Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is the most widely accepted tool by the scientific community to make an environmental comparative study between different alternatives. In this study, the literature regarding LCA of bags was reviewed in order to find common conclusions, and a methodological guide for future studies. For each study, the type of bags considered, end of life treatments, the functional unit, the Life Cycle Impact Assessment methods, system boundaries, data used, locations and the results of the calculated environmental impacts are described and compared. Although some differences exist among the studies, in most analyses, reusable plastic bags are identified as the lower environmental impact alternative when enough reuses are considered. On average, the climate change index of reusable bags is equal to 27% of the value of the alternative with the highest impact in each study. For the end-of-life treatment scenarios, reuse and recycling show greater environmental benefits compared to composting, landfilling or incinerating, regardless of energy recovery. Open challenges are discussed, where several authors agree with the requirement of the development of a new index to quantify the consequences of plastic leakage into the environment.
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In terms of sustainability, injection foam molding gains in importance. Yet still many questions throughout the whole process remain unanswered. Especially, the conditions inside the cylinder during gas injection are fraught with uncertainty. Our development of a new methodology for the determination of dynamic solubility in injection foam molding helps to answer the most basic question regarding gas loading: Using the bulk modulus of the polymer–gas mixture, the dynamic solubility limit can be detected. In a first series of tests, the methodology was verified with simultaneous ultrasonic measurements—an excellent agreement was observed. In this work, a second, more thorough test series is presented. Using the bulk modulus methodology on different polypropylene grades, dynamic solubility limits between 0.62 and 2.56 wt% nitrogen at pressures between 80 and 200 bar and a temperature of 230°C were determined directly on an injection molding machine. The detailed theoretical background for this technique, as well as a mathematical automation approach, is provided. This innovative yet simple method yields novel insights on process limits and provides the possibility of an a priori machine setup or a fully automatic self‐adjustment of the machine. POLYM. ENG. SCI., 2019. © 2019 The Authors. Polymer Engineering & Science published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of Society of Plastics Engineers.
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The increasing usage of petroleum-based compounds has prompted numerous environmental concerns. Consequently, there has been a steady rise in research on the synthesis of useful materials from natural sources. Paper technologists are seeking environmentally acceptable dry end and wet end additives. Among the bio-based resources available, nanocellulose is a popular sustainable nanomaterial additive in the paper industry because of its high strength, high oxygen barrier performance, low density, great mechanical properties, and biocompatibility. NC's extensive hydroxyl groups provide a unique possibility to dramatically modify the hydrophilicity and charge of the surface in order to improve their potential applications in the paper industry. The current paper reviews two series of surface modifications, each with various subcategories, depending on why modified nanocellulose is added in the paper production: to improve barrier properties or to improve mechanical properties of packaging materials. The methods presented in this study use the minimum amount of chemically hazardous solvents to have the least impact on the environment. This review focuses on modifications of nanocellulose and their subsequent application in the papermaking. The knowledge and the discussion presented in this review will form a literature source for future use by various stakeholders and the sustainable paper manufacturers.
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This study aims to explore the factors that influence Turkish consumers’ support for the plastic bag fee (PBF) as an environmental policy intervention. For this purpose, a conceptual framework has been developed based on the previous research of environmental consumption, environmental policy support, and the qualitative research findings on responses to plastic bag fee. Within this framework, the impacts of frugality, pro-environmental personal norms, the amount of plastic bag usage, knowledge about the purpose of the practice, perceived effectiveness and perceived cost of the practice, and various demographic factors on the attitudinal and behavioral support were investigated. To test the theoretical framework data was collected through a survey on a sample consisted of 321 consumers living in 23 different cities of Turkey, mainly in Istanbul, Kocaeli, and Bursa. Analysis results showed that behavioral and attitudinal support for the plastic bag fee has some distinct antecedents. However, the perceived effectiveness of and consumers’ knowledge about PBF practice has a critical impact on both attitudinal and behavioral support. The findings also indicated that attitudinal support does not only promote behavioral support for the current practice but also facilitate the adoption of similar future practices. In the light of the findings, suggestions on how to enable a strong consumer support for similar practices that may be used in the future are provided.
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One of the main drivers for companies to perform environmental improvements is economic benefit, either by obtaining a more valuable product or gaining new customers. Circular economy combines environmental improvements with these drivers to achieve higher and quicker benefits. This paper is a case study on packaging eco-design aligned with circular economy strategy along the production chain. Life cycle assessment (LCA) was used to identify the product life cycle stages where the application of eco-design strategies would be more efficient (in this case, raw materials production from virgin petrochemicals). To improve the environmental profile of this packaging, virgin petrochemicals were partially replaced by mineral fillers (calcium carbonate based) or/and post-consumer recycled plastics. Different technically compliant cosmetic tubes were produced by collaboration between a company producing the plastic granulates with mineral fillers and a company producing the cosmetic tubes and cradle-to-gate LCA were performed. The replacement of virgin petrochemicals by mineral fillers helped to reduce the environmental impacts by an average of 12% and the use of post-consumer recycled plastic further decreased emissions up to 29% for 6 out of the 9 evaluated impact categories. The option with better environmental performance was also the one with lower economic costs. According to the involved companies, LCA combined with ecodesign helped to achieve efficient environmental and economic savings. The findings are important for the plastic packaging sector because they tackle with prime concerns, like plastic debris, climate change and resource depletion. They are of main interest for industrial activities where brand positioning is a priority (i.e. cosmetics).
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Plastic waste is perceived as one of the major environmental problems of our times. Nevertheless, rates of consumption of plastic packaging are constantly increasing. Based on focus group discussions with German consumers this study identified personal and structural barriers that hinder a reduced plastic packaging consumption. Combining our findings with those of previous studies, we conclude that fundamental changes in infrastructures and lifestyles, as well as cultural and economic transformation processes, are needed to make zero-waste shopping the norm and unpackaged goods the most affordable and convenient option. The questions ‘Who is shopping?’, ‘What are we shopping?’, ‘Where do we go shopping?’, and ‘When/how often do we go shopping?’ help in identifying the levers for a dissemination of the unpacked concept and also reveal factors that have so far only been marginally discussed in the discourse on the plastic problem and have not yet been systematically linked to it.
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The importance of foam injection molded components in industrial applications increases, above all driven by sustainability concerns. In practice, their applicability almost exclusively depends on their mechanical behavior, which is still difficult to predict based on their microstructure. This work aims to present an approach based upon phenomenological observations. From a processing perspective, the objective is to describe the direct processing‐properties‐relationship. Therefore, this work focuses on the effects of different processing parameters on selected final mechanical properties of foam injection molded components using glass fiber‐reinforced polypropylene. A full factorial, central composite design allows for the detection of nonlinear effects, the application of response surface methodology, and the creation of contour plots. Considering three important process parameters (mold temperature, degree of foaming, delay time) and—for the automotive industry—highly important mechanical properties in bi‐ and uniaxial bending, the results show a detailed picture of individual dependences, but also two‐dimensional interactions between the different process parameters. Improvements of more than 140% in absorbed energy and flexural stiffness were obtained at constant part weight. Modulus and strength were increased by 37 and 44%, respectively.
Preprint
Nghiên cứu các yếu tố tác động đến hành vi giảm sử dụng túi nhựa của khách hàng Việt Nam khi đi siêu thị là công trình nghiên cứu sử dụng 2 phương pháp định tính và định lượng. Dữ liệu nghiên cứu được thu thập từ 310 khách hàng trên địa bàn cả nước. Kết quả nghiên cứu chỉ ra rằng có 6 nhân tố tác động đến ý định và hành vi giảm sử dụng túi nhựa khi mua sắm tại siêu thị bao gồm (1) Mối quan tâm đến môi trường, (2) Quan tâm đến sức khỏe, (3) Cảm nhận tính hiệu quả, (4) Áp lực xã hội, (5) Thói quen tiêu dùng, (6) Tính tập thể. Bên cạnh đó, nghiên cứu còn cho thấy giới tính, độ tuổi, tần suất mua sắm không có sự khác biệt tác động đến ý định giảm sử dụng túi nhựa và hành vi giảm sử dụng túi nhựa khi mua sắm tại các siêu thị. Thông qua kết quả nghiên cứu bài viết đã đề xuất những giải pháp nhằm nâng cao hành vi giảm sử dụng túi nhựa của khách hàng khi mua sắm tại siêu thị. Nghiên cứu này có một số đóng góp nhất định về mặt lý luận và thực tiễn liên quan đến ý định giảm sử dụng túi nhựa và hành vi giảm sử dụng túi nhựa của khách hàng khi mua sắm tại các siêu thị. Từ khóa: siêu thị, hành vi không sử dụng túi nhựa, Việt Nam 1.Dẫn nhập Bối cảnh nghiên cứu và vấn đề cần giải quyết Tại Việt Nam, trong vòng 10 năm trở lại đây, các vấn nạn về môi trường ngày càng nóng và đã bắt đầu được chú trọng đến tác hại của những túi nhựa đối với môi trường cũng như đối với nền kinh tế và người tiêu dùng Việt có tinh thần hướng đến xã hội và sự phát triển bền vững cao nhất trong khu vực Đông Nam Á. Theo một báo cáo Phát triển bền vững của Công ty Nghiên cứu Thị trường toàn cầu Nielsen, có đến 86% người tiêu dùng Việt sẵn sàng chi trả cao hơn để mua sản phẩm/dịch vụ từ các công ty bán hàng có ảnh hưởng tích cực đến xã hội và môi trường, so với 76% người tiêu dùng khu vực Đông Nam Á. Các doanh nghiệp không những cạnh tranh về hàng hoá, giá cả, chất lượng,... mà còn xem trách nhiệm xã hội của doanh nghiệp hướng đến giảm thải chất thải ni-lông như là một trong những chiến lược cạnh tranh bền vững nhằm xây dựng một hệ thống khách hàng trung thành. Mặc dù trên thực tế khá nhiều các doanh nghiệp lớn ở Việt Nam đã áp dụng các mô hình trách nhiệm xã hội doanh nghiệp trong hoạt động quản lý doanh nghiệp lớn, nhưng các nghiên cứu tại Việt Nam vẫn còn khá khiêm tốn. Do đó, trong bối cảnh hiện nay còn rất ít các nghiên cứu về vấn đề này ở Việt Nam đặc biệt là các nghiên cứu trong lĩnh vực bán lẻ, một lĩnh vực kinh doanh đặc biệt tác động đến một số lượng người tiêu dùng rất lớn và có có tiềm năng phát triển rất lớn chiếm gần 25% và theo dự báo đến năm 2020 tỷ lệ này sẽ là 45% (Bộ Công Thương, 2018). Mục đích của nghiên cứu này về yếu tố xã hội ảnh hưởng mạnh mẽ đến ý thức người tiêu dùng và trách nhiệm của các doanh nghiệp đến nhận thức và quá trình ra quyết định của khách hàng hiện nay trong việc đưa ra quyết định là một nhu cầu tất yếu để các doanh nghiệp bán lẻ xây dựng chiến lược cạnh tranh. Vấn đề cần giải quyết:-Đề xuất những cách thức, biện pháp để hoàn thiện chính sách giảm thiểu sử dụng các túi nhựa ni-lông ở Việt Nam trong bối cảnh hiện nay.-Nghiên cứu thực tiễn hoạch định và thực thi chính sách thay đổi hành vi tiêu dùng, hạn chế sử dụng túi ni-lông khi đi siêu thị ở thành phố Hồ Chí Minh, để chỉ ra những mặt thuận lợi, khó khăn và nguyên nhân của nó.
Article
The functional properties of jute adhesive-bonded 120 g/m² nonwoven fabric were studied considering three process parameters, i.e. adhesive concentration, squeezing pressure, and curing temperature using central composite rotatable design considering the use of that fabric in disposable light-weight carry bag. Mathematical models have been proposed for each functional property. The models can be used to predict and discuss the properties satisfactorily. The contour diagrams help to design a jute adhesive-bonded fabric for carry bag. To get the optimum functional properties of 120 g/m² fabric, the process parameters was 20% adhesive concentration, 1.2 N/cm² squeezing pressure and 120°C curing temperature. Comparison with commercial fabric showed that the properties of the developed fabric are better for using as carry bag. The performance of the developed bag in hanging test, repeated wetting test, drop test, and atmospheric test is better compared to commercial plastic carry bag. The developed PVA bonded jute nonwoven disposable carry bags as compared to plastic carry bag are heavier in weight, costlier and prone to more moisture absorption not having any water-repellent/water proof character.
Technical Report
This report is a brief overview of the findings from Project 1.2.2 Think Tanks whereby input from industry was sought using an online qualitative survey and a seminar discussing the results and implications of the findings from the consumer research modules. An overview of Project 1.2.2 can be provided on request. Project 1.2.2. aligns with the REDUCE and the ENGAGE programs of the FFWCRC’s activities. The aim is to understand consumer’s perceptions of food waste with a view to finding opportunities for packaging to reduce food loss and waste. The concept of consumer education and communication of food packaging benefits and food waste was dominant throughout the participants’ responses.
Article
Big data from major online food ordering platforms can facilitate a richer understanding of the environmental impact of current food delivery packaging waste, and scenarios for more sustainable alternatives.
Chapter
The Packaging used to protect the products and first impression of product which interact the consumers. The non-biodegradable materials i.e., plastics, glass, and metals in packaging applications are produced every year with the intention of use and throw are raising concerns about environmental pollution. In view of that, the idea of “Green composites” fabricated from plant fibres which have emerged as new environmentally sustainable products, with Engineering and Industrial applications. Therefore, there have been substantial studies to develop alternative packaging products using plant fibers with focus on re-packaging products. Studies have reported that the use of natural composites fabricated from plant fibre may reduce the plastic waste and thus consecutively solve the waste disposal problem to some extent owing to its biodegradability. The aim of this book chapter is to summarise information on possible plant fibres and their applications for packaging applications. Overall, this chapter will helpful to Young Scientists, Product designers and Engineers, who are working in the area of sustainable packaging for commercial uses.
Article
Palm oil production is a significant agricultural industry in the South East Asia region and the empty fruit bunch by-product OPEFB is a lignocellulosic biomass left after palm oil recovery, which has shown to be recalcitrant to bioconversion. Pretreatment experiments were carried out in this study to mitigate the recalcitrance of this material using oxygen assisted hydrothermal pretreatment (with 3–9% oxygen loading in the form of H2O2) followed by batch anaerobic digestion at both mesophilic and thermophilic conditions. The optimal pretreatment for OPEFB was found to be with 6% oxygen at mesophilic condition resulting in 43% increase in methane yield over the control while at thermophilic conditions, the ultimate methane yield was ultimately lower, but received within a shorter time period. The gate-to-gate process was analyzed for global warming potential impacts and it was concluded that for the production of methane at the optimal condition resulted in the lowest greenhouse gas emissions (30% less than the control).
Article
Single-use plastic (SUP) being a versatile material, is adopted as an alternate to traditional materials specifically for the use in food packaging due to its inherent characteristics like high durability, inertness, and protecting ability but has become a curse for living being today due to its random usage and unplanned rejection to nature. Mostly plastics used in packaging of beverages, fresh meats, fruits and vegetables are under concern today. Single-use packages result in generation of several billion tons of garbage till date, which pollutes the environment. At the immediate past, it has come to light that micro plastics obtained due to slow degradation of SUP present in oceans, are also being consumed by marine organisms such as fishes and shellfish species which disturbs the marine life extensively. Hence, finding right strategy to mitigate the plastic waste related issues has becoming inevitable today. This review paper briefs various strategies undertaken worldwide to mitigate the pollution due to generation of plastic waste. Various notable impact of adopted strategies and recent innovations to replace the SUP products are also discussed and in view of this a roadmap is also suggested which can be used to achieve the milestone of Zero Plastic Waste.
Article
How humans use and misuse products changes the forecasted life cycle environmental impacts of those products. Human behavior is generally considered to be the ways in which humans act and interact both with each other and their environments. In order to fully understand the potential influence of the range human behavior on those impacts, it must be studied and modeled in a holistic manner. Life cycle assessment (LCA) is a critical tool in assessing the environmental impacts of products and processes. At the same time, it is not well suited on its own to exploring the shifts in the anticipated environmental impacts of a product or process due to human behavior, and often relies on the usage of stylized or optimized scenarios. Agent based modeling (ABM), a bottom-up modeling framework, is well suited to explore human behavior. Through coupling LCA and ABM there is the opportunity to explore the influence of human behavior, and see the people, in these studies. Here, a critical review approach is taken to first identify the current gaps in tolls and literature and then to posit a potential to couple LCA and ABM to more fully realize the impacts of human behavior. A case study approach is taken to more fully explore this potential in context. The adoption of new products also has the potential to influence how humans behave and use those products. The potential influence of human behavior at the different product life cycle stages is presented utilizing grocery shopping bags as an example of the potential for humans to shift from the stylized scenarios we often utilize in LCA. Beyond that, the coupling of these two tools has the potential to lead to more accurate forecasts of the environmental impact of products and processes when the impact of human behavior has the potential to be significant. Human behavior is critical to consider with respect to the LCA of products as it has the potentially to greatly shift the projected environmental impacts, often in ways that are not considered by the product designers.
Article
Full-text available
Under constant pressure from government, the media, customers and consumers, the packaging industry is increasingly being forced to consider how its products can be made more sustainable. Faced with pressing issues of over capacity, low prices and high raw material costs, 'sustainable packaging' is becoming the top concern for senior executives. The present research is based on 100 FMCG companies adopting Sustainable packaging. This paper highlights the novelty required from the companies to adopt the concept of sustainable packaging which will contribute to environment friendly products. It argues on the impact, reasons of adoption and various disparities that need to be taken care of while implementing sustainability concept in FMCG Companies. The paper provides empirical results by using tests like Friedman Two Way ANOVA, One Way ANOVA, Coefficient of Preference Analysis, Factor Analysis to demonstrate how companies have to be responsible not only for the social and environmental performance of its own production deeds but also for using those raw material which infuse emission and wastes that degrade our environment.
Article
Full-text available
Drawing on the notions of subjective knowledge (what someone thinks he/she knows about a topic) and receptivity (someone's ability, inclination, and willingness to take in information, ideas, impressions or suggestions), we extend the knowledge‐attitudes‐practice (KAP) model within an environmental sustainability policy (ESP) context: the UK's single‐use bag charge policy, specifically. Based on a cross‐sectional survey with 568 British participants, we illustrate the key role of objective knowledge for ESP compliance/behavioural intentions, whilst subjective knowledge is key for ESP information receptivity. The need for different marketing tactics to promote ‘policy products’ for sustainable success is illustrated by identifying three distinct segments: the Knowledgeable and Compliant (first to comply, need to maintain information receptivity); the Unknowledgeable But Compliant (need to reduce subjective knowledge); and the Unknowledgeable, Non‐compliant, but Receptive (need objective information the most). Contributing to current and future ESP making, this paper provides multiple avenues for future research.
Article
Full-text available
Although the ban on plastic bags is gaining in prominence as a policy option to manage plastic bag litter, there are mixed views on its rationale and effectiveness. This study employs a systematic literature review to understand considerations, benefits and unintended consequences of banning plastic bags. The review’s results pointed to the limited success of a plastic bag ban owing to lack of suitable alternatives, limited state capacity to monitor and enforce the ban, thriving black market, structural and instrumental power of the plastic industry. The power of the industry was manifested by the covert practice of deflecting accountability to consumers by focusing on business-oriented solutions, including an inclination towards self-regulation. The findings of this study underscored the need for a global treaty to address the transient nature of plastic bag litter and moving away from the symbolic gesture of targeting only plastic shopping bags but considering the environmental impact of all forms of plastic such as straws, foamed plastics, plastic bottles and caps. There is a general consensus in literature that the end of plastic shopping bags is not nigh due to their utilitarian benefits. This study therefore recommends the promotion of a circular economy focusing on ecological modernisation, sustainable plastic bag manufacturing and recovery strategies such as recycling as a long-term strategy. A significant strand of literature reviewed also recommends the adoption of community-driven approaches such as voluntary initiatives as opposed to a plastic bag ban as they proved to be effective in promoting environmental citizenship behaviours in countries such as Finland.
Article
Full-text available
The uncontrolled use and consumption of resources in the process of urbanization and industrialization lead to environmental problems, while the differences between groups of people in urban areas cause social and economic negative consequences in terms of utilization of urban resources. For these reasons, sustainability can be regarded as a design problem. In the light of this design problem, it is aimed to discuss that the place of sustainability in new design concept and relations with designer. Study will start with the definition of the concept of sustainability and will continue with the change in packaging design and the relationship established with sustainability in the historical process, and it will end with a discussion of approaches that designers can contribute to sustainable development..
Book
Full-text available
Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) has developed in Australia over the past 16 years in a fragmented way with many different people and organizations contributing to the area at different times, and largely through informal or unpublished work. This publication will legitimize and document LCA research and methodology development to act as a record of what has happened and a basis for future development and application of the tool. The Centre for Design at RMIT has been a leading research center in Australia through its work on data collection, methodology development and contribution to knowledge through undertaking LCA studies for leading companies and government departments ranging from products, packaging, buildings, water management and waste management. This work, in addition to key work undertaken by other researchers, will be presented. The book will become a bridge between LCA implementation and life cycle management (LCM) and provide discussion on how LCA development will be in the future and how it integrates with available software tools.
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Full-text available
In 2002, Ron Clarke representing the Council for Encouragement of Philanthropy in Australia suggested that a levy should be placed upon shopping bags to reduce consumption. This was at a time when discuss and debate centred upon the consumption of 6.9 billion bags per year in Australia with many millions being littered and posing risks to aquatic and marine life through entanglement, ingestion and suffocation. It was also at a time when the introductions of different types of degradable polymers were entering the market and being touted as the solution to the plastic bag consumption. In 2002-3 the Department of Environment and Heritage funded two studies that investigated the impacts of degradable polymers in Australia. This paper presents background information on the types of degradable polymers and results from a streamlined life cycle assessment that compared degradable polymers and alternative materials such as HDPE, LDPE, PP, Kraft paper and calico. The paper concludes with a checklist for use in selecting degradable polymers.
Article
Full-text available
There have been occasional ad hoc efforts to influence consumer behaviour by the imposition of product taxes that reflect external costs imposed by such products that are not initially included in their price. In the spirit of this idea, in 2002 Ireland introduced a 15 Euro cent tax on plastic shopping bags, previously provided free of charge to customers at points of sale. The effect of the tax on the use of plastic bags in retail outlets has been dramatic—a reduction in use in the order of 90%, and an associated gain in the form of reduced littering and negative landscape effects. Costs of administration have been very low, amounting to about 3% of revenues, because it was possible to integrate reporting and collection into existing Value Added Tax reporting systems. Response from the main stakeholders: the public and the retail industry, has been overwhelmingly positive. Central to this acceptance has been a policy of extensive consultation with these stakeholders. The fact that a product tax can influence consumer behaviour significantly will be of interest to many policymakers in this area. This paper analyses the plastic bag levy success story and provides insights and general guidelines for other jurisdictions planning similar proposals. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2007
Article
For the purpose of chemical risk management and decision-making, chemical risk assessment (RA) and life-cycle assessment (LCA) of products are indispensable tools. In this paper the authors provide an overview of their respective modes of application, based on the goals for which they have been designed, and the underlying modelling structures. LCA is shown to differ in a fundamental way from RA, offering distinctive possibilities for serving management and policy goals. The functional unit plays a key role, both in the capacities of LCA and in how LCA differs from RA. Despite these differences, the authors conclude the paper with a proposal for the integration of RA and LCA into a common tool that combines them without the loss of their individual advantages.
Article
Editor's Note: John Elkington's new book, Cannibals with Forks: The Triple Bottom Line of 21st-Century Business, has been hailed as “practical, compassionate and deeply informed, a brilliant synthesis of his genius for cutting through the thicket of tough issues–in the world of business and sustainability–and producing elegant solutions that can be applied today” (Paul Hawken). We are pleased to have the opportunity to publish a selection from this award-winning book. In this discussion of partnerships, Elkington explores how effective, long-term partnerships will be crucial for companies making the transition to sustainability and offers approaches and examples of keen interest. Special thanks to Capstone Publishers, U.K., for their gracious cooperation.
Article
Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is an analytical tool to evaluate the environmental consequences of products and their production systems. A great deal of effort has been devoted to developing methodology and guidelines for conducting LCAs. However, many companies are devising shortcuts to the full LCA model. We conducted discussions with twenty-one LCA practitioners and researchers to investigate techniques being used to simplify or streamline the LCA methodology. We found a wide variety of approaches being used to accomplish the streamlining from convening informal in-house expert panels to identify life cycle issues to developing and applying formal, structured tools.
Article
A large number of tools for assessing environmental impacts are available. It is of interest to characterise different tools in order to better understand their relationships and the appropriateness of different tools in different situations. The characteristics used here are whether the tools are procedural or analytical, what types of impacts are included, what the object of the study is and whether the studies are descriptive or change-orientated. For each object discussed here, there is a tool focusing on both use of natural resources and environmental impacts that seems to be the most suitable. Because different tools focus on different objects, different tools cannot in general easily replace each other.
Article
Plastic carrier bags have been drawing the attention of the public and politicians. Different policy measures to reduce the environmental burden of these bags have been implemented and more are planned. The research analyzed the actual environmental aspects of consumption and use of plastic carrier bags and assessed the effectiveness of the proposed regulation in Israel. Since plastic bags are provided free of charge, people have a tendency to use these bags excessively, therefore a rigorous educational program should address this trend. However, the environmental load imposed by the bags is more a politically correct issue than an actual environmental hazard, and therefore the means for reducing their use should not include a high levy or total elimination of these bags.
Dirty Old Bags The Age
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Say NO to Plastic Bags
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Environmental Impacts of Shopping Bags. Report by Sustainable Packaging Alliance for Woolworths Limited: Melbourne
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Verghese K, Lewis H, Fitzpatrick L, Di-Mauro Hayes G, Hedditch B. Environmental Impacts of Shopping Bags. Report by Sustainable Packaging Alliance for Woolworths Limited: Melbourne, 2009; http://mams.rmit.edu.au/r97dgq3iero9.pdf [accessed 11 December 2009].
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Marlet C. The Use of LCAs on Plastic Bags in an IPP context. EuroCommerce: Brussels, 2004.
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Plastic Shopping Bags – Analysis of levies and Environmental Impacts, Final Report
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Trial of a Government and Industry Charge on Plastic Bags. Report to Environment Protection and Heritage Council: Canberra
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KPMG. Trial of a Government and Industry Charge on Plastic Bags. Report to Environment Protection and Heritage Council: Canberra, 2008.
The Impacts of Degradable Plastic Bags in Australia
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ExcelPlas, RMIT, and Nolan-ITU. The Impacts of Degradable Plastic Bags in Australia. 2003; Report to the Department of Environment and Heritage, Canberra.
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Resource and Environmental Profi le Analysis of Polyethylene and Unbleached Paper Grocery Sacks (extract)
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National Packaging Covenant Mid-Term Review: Executive Document
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H. LEWIS, K. VERGHESE AND L. FITZPATRICK Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Packag. Technol. Sci. 2010; 23: 145–160 DOI: 10.1002/pts
Report to the Environment Protection and Heritage Council
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Hyder Consulting. Plastic retail carry bag use. 2008; Report to the Environment Protection and Heritage Council, Canberra.
Report to Environment Protection and Heritage Council: Canberra
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KPMG. Trial of a Government and Industry Charge on Plastic Bags. Report to Environment Protection and Heritage Council: Canberra, 2008.
Life cycle assessment: origins, principles and context
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Horne R. Life cycle assessment: origins, principles and context. In Life Cycle Assessment: Principles, Practice and Prospects, Horne R, Grant T, Verghese K (eds). CSIRO Publishing: Melbourne, 2009; 1-8.
Life cycle assessment as decision support: a systemic critique
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Grant T, MacDonald F. Life cycle assessment as decision support: a systemic critique. In Life Cycle Assessment: Principles, Practice and Prospects, Horne R, Grant T, Verghese K (eds). CSIRO Publishing: Melbourne, 2009; 33-42.
Plastic Shopping Bags -Analysis of levies and Environmental Impacts
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Nolan-ITU, ExcelPlas, and Centre for Design at RMIT. Plastic Shopping Bags -Analysis of levies and Environmental Impacts, Final Report. Environment Australia: Canberra, 2002.
National Litter Index: Annual Results 2007/08 Tabulations
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Keep Australia Beautiful. National Litter Index: Annual Results 2007/08 Tabulations. 2008; http://www.kab.org.au/_dbase_ upl/NLI%20Tables%200708.doc [accessed 16 February 2009].
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Centre for Design At RMIT Plastic Shopping Bags - Analysis of levies and Environmental Impacts
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Life cycle doesn't work
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Streamlining life cycle assessment
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Environmental Impacts of Shopping Bags
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