ArticlePDF Available

# Life cycle environmental impacts of carbonated soft drinks

Authors:

## Abstract and Figures

Purpose The UK carbonated drinks sector was worth £8 billion in 2010 and is growing at an annual rate of 4.9 %. In an attempt to provide a better understanding of the environmental impacts of this sector, this paper presents, for the first time, the full life cycle impacts of carbonated soft drinks manufactured and consumed in the UK. Two functional units are considered: 1 l of packaged drink and total annual production of carbonated drinks in the UK. The latter has been used to estimate the impacts at the sectoral level. The system boundary is from ‘cradle to grave’. Different packaging used for carbonated drinks is considered: glass bottles (0.75 l), aluminium cans (0.33 l) and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles (0.5 and 2 l). Materials and methods The study has been carried out following the ISO 14040/44 life cycle assessment (LCA) methodology. Data have been sourced from a drink manufacturer as well as the CCaLC, Ecoinvent and Gabi databases. The LCA software tools CCaLC v2.0 and GaBi 4.3 have been used for LCA modelling. The environmental impacts have been estimated according to the CML 2001 method. Results and discussion Packaging is the main hotspot for most environmental impacts, contributing between 59 and 77 %. The ingredients account between 7 and 14 % mainly due to sugar; the manufacturing stage contributes 5–10 %, largely due to the energy for filling and packaging. Refrigeration of the drink at retailer increases global warming potential by up to 33 %. Transport contributes up to 7 % to the total impacts. Conclusions The drink packaged in 2 l PET bottles is the most sustainable option for most impacts, including the carbon footprint, while the drink in glass bottles is the worst option. However, reusing glass bottles three times would make the carbon footprint of the drink in glass bottles comparable to that in aluminium cans and 0.5 l PET bottles. If recycling of PET bottles is increased to 60 %, the glass bottle would need to be reused 20 times to make their carbon footprints comparable. The estimates at the sectoral level indicate that the carbonated drinks in the UK are responsible for over 1.5 million tonnes of CO2 eq. emissions per year. This represented 13 % of the GHG emissions from the whole food and drink sector or 0.26 % of the UK total emissions in 2010.
Content may be subject to copyright.
A preview of the PDF is not available
... All these studies proved that the PET container generally shows the lowest overall environmental impacts. The studies considering also refillable glass bottles, [13][14][15][16] in general, concluded that 20-25 uses are recommended to obtain comparable/better environmental performances than oneway PET bottled water (results are related to a waste management system with a plastic recycling rate of 60-80%). ...
... Previous studies on beverage packaging mainly focused on the climate change indicator (e.g., Amienyo et al. 13 First, the environmental impacts of the PET bottle distribution were calculated, and then the obtained impact results were compared with the alternative system based on refillable glass bottles. The environmental performance of this system was deeply studied in a previous work of the same research group. ...
... The foreground system was mostly described with primary data except for the bottling plant operations for which literature data were used. 13 Primary data about the involved packages (mass and material) were gathered by collecting samples in different retail stores in the city of Milan, the most important urban centre in Northern Italy (Table S1). Data concerning the travelled distances and the ways of transport in the distribution stage were derived from Ferrarelle SpA, which is one of the first five-bottled water companies in Italy. 1 Finally, as regards the packaging end of life, inventory data from waste treatment facilities in Northern Italy collected in previous studies [24][25][26] were mainly used. ...
Article
The consumption of bottled mineral water in Italy is amongst the highest at the European level. This life cycle assessment (LCA) aims to evaluate the environmental impacts associated with the distribution of mineral water in the Italian hospitality industry, that is less investigated than the domestic consumption in the existing literature. The use of traditional one-way PolyEthylene Terephthalate (PET) bottles of small format (0.5 L) was compared with the alternative system of refillable, 1 L, glass bottles. Primary inventory data were collected to describe the system. The evaluation considered 14 impact indicators calculated according to the Environmental Footprint method. LCA results support the replacement of plastic with glass containers in the hospitality industry only in the best conditions for the glass bottles (more than 25 uses and a local distribution) and simultaneously in the worst situation for PET (bottles of small format and 100% from virgin granulate). When a recycled PET bottle is considered, results become heavily in favour of the single-use PET system. The following recommendations were derived for increasing the environmental sustainability of the distribution of bottled water in the Italian hospitality industry: to move towards a PET bottle closed loop system, in which discarded PET bottles are recycled to produce bottle-grade granules; to promote a progressive light weighting of refillable glass bottles, compatibly with the bottle resistance and to ensure at least 25 reuses before their disposal; to promote the sale of bottled water from local bottling companies (no more than 300 km distance from the final client).
... Single use glass bottles (i.e. bottles used only once before being recycled or disposed) were the most impactful packaging alternative in Amienyo et al. (2013) and Saleh (2016). Moreover, Kouloumpis et al. (2020) demonstrated that, to achieve comparable GWP impacts for glass and PET, the glass bottles need to be 40% lighter. ...
... These results agree with the study of Simon et al. (2016) that pointed out how the aluminium cans can be more sustainable than PET bottles if, as assumed in our study, a closed loop recycling is considered (Simon et al., 2016). Nevertheless, other literature studies about the LCA of beverage packaging showed that PET bottles were slightly more sustainable than aluminium cans (Amienyo et al., 2013;Boesen et al., 2019). However, there are two are the main reasons for the differences in the results. ...
... However, there are two are the main reasons for the differences in the results. Firstly, the amount of recycled material in the production of aluminium cans considering both body and lid: in our study, it was assumed an overall value of 70% (Table S4) while Amienyo et al. (2013) and Boesen et al. (2019) adopted an overall value of 38% and 55%, respectively. Second, the recycling rates of aluminium and PET during the end-of-life phase of packaging systems: in our study, the disposal scenarios of packaging in Italy for the year 2019 were adopted (Table S8) in which more favourable conditions for aluminium than PET was assumed when compared to the other two studies. ...
Article
This study analysed the perceived environmental sustainability of alternative packaging systems for beverages (glass bottle, plastic bottle, and aluminium cans) from a sample of young Italian consumers with a sociological survey. In parallel, a life cycle assessment was conducted to compare the perceived and actual environmental sustainability as well as to identify any discrepancies, with comparison indicators for different environmental issues. The sample of Italian students perceived glass bottles as the most environmentally sustainable compared to aluminium cans and plastic bottles (the worst perceived option). Similar results were recorded for a sample of environmentalists from the same region with an even greater perception of environmental sustainability for single use glass bottles. Therefore, there was an overwhelming confirmation of how glass is perceived as very sustainable from an environmental point of view and of how plastic is perceived as having little or no environmental sustainability. However, the life cycle assessment study showed that the positive perception in favour of single-use glass is completely unfounded since glass packaging was clearly the worst option both in terms of midpoint impact categories as well as macro-categories of damage. The definition of indicators useful for the comparison between the perceived and actual sustainability were able to confirm that the environmental sustainability of glass bottles was widely overestimated by the respondents for both midpoint and endpoint environmental issues. There is a misperception of environmental sustainability by consumers that could be due to a lack or incorrect communication between the scientific community and citizens. Effective communication initiatives are therefore needed to enable consumers to move beyond prejudices that are excessively pro-glass and excessively anti-plastic.
... LCA is an useful tool to evaluate the environmental impacts that occur in every stage along the supply chain of a product. Studies have used LCA to compare the impacts of different packaging materials for specific food products across different food categories such as liquid food (Accorsi et al., 2015;Amienyo et al., 2013;Thoma et al., 2013), grain (Bevilacqua et al., 2007;Espinoza-orias et al., 2011), vegetables (Cellura et al., 2012), and fish (Laso et al., 2017). Licciardello (2017) examined 29 different food products' packaging relative environmental impact (PREI). ...
... In this figure, a single food might be represented more than once for eutrophication, ecotoxicity, acidification, abiotic depletion, and land occupation if the original study provides data for a finer impact categorization of the general impact indicators. For example, Amienyo et al. (2013) measured marine ecotoxicity, freshwater ecotoxicity, and terrestrial ecotoxicity of carbonated drink packaging, the values of these three impact groups are reflected in the ecotoxicity bar of this figure. Fig. 4a shows liquid food packaging generally has a higher impact contribution than solid food packaging. ...
Article
Life cycle assessment (LCA) is used widely to compare the relative impacts of different packaging materials for a specific food product, but few studies evaluate how a single packaging material contributes to a variety of food items. Plastic is a common material used for food packaging. This study conducts an analysis of 28 studies that conduct an LCA of food products to quantify the impact of plastic packaging relative to the total life cycle impact of food products. For most of the 13 environmental indicators reported, plastic packaging is responsible for less than 10% of total life cycle emissions of 23 out of the 30 foods studied. Relative packaging emissions tend to be higher for liquids and food products packaged in small quantities, although the absolute values of energy use and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are small. To make LCA results more accessible to non-scientific audiences, this study compares the results to a reference value of the emissions of vehicle travel. The environmental impact caused by the packaging from per capita annual food consumption is less than the environmental impact of per capita daily vehicle travel for most food products analyzed, although annual beverage consumption can be responsible for the equivalent impact of 76 miles of driving.
... For example, soft drinks, a particularly popular UPF with low GHGs per kg of product, are a key driver of dietary GHGs in Sweden, Norway, and the UK (Hanssen et al., 2007;Hyland et al., 2017;Vellinga et al., 2019). In the UK in 2010, the production of carbonated drinks resulted in over 1.5 million tonnes of CO2-eq, which accounts for 13% of the food and beverage sector's emissions, or 0.26% of the total GHG emissions for the UK (Amienyo et al., 2013). ...
Article
Full-text available
Minimising environmental impacts and prioritising the production of nutritious foods are essential qualities of a sustainable food system. Ultra-processed foods (UFPs) are potentially counterproductive to these objectives. This review aims to summarise the magnitude and types of environmental impacts resulting from each stage of the UPF supply chain and to develop a conceptual framework to display these impacts. It also aims to identify the terms used to describe UPFs in the sustainability literature, and the methods used to measure the associated environmental impacts. A narrative review approach with a systematic search strategy was used. Fifty-two studies were included that either described or quantified the environmental impacts of UPFs. This review found that UPFs are responsible for significant diet-related environmental impacts. Included studies reported that UPFs accounted for between 17 and 39% of total diet-related energy use, 36–45% of total diet-related biodiversity loss, up to one-third of total diet-related greenhouse gas emissions, land use and food waste and up to one-quarter of total diet-related water-use among adults in a range of high-income countries. These results varied depending on the scope of the term used to describe UPFs, stages of the lifecycle included in the analyses and country. Studies also identified that UPF production and consumption has impacts on land degradation, herbicide use, eutrophication and packaging use, although these impacts were not quantified in relation to dietary contribution. The findings highlight that environmental degradation associated with UPFs is of significant concern due to the substantial resources used in the production and processing of such products, and also because UPFs are superfluous to basic human needs. The conceptual framework and findings presented can be used to inform food policy and dietary guideline development, as well as provide recommendations for future research.
... Data from transportation were also retrieved from the article "energy balance for locally grown versus imported apple fruit" [78]. Once at the retailers [79,80], conventional apple juice is stored and then sold to customers [81,82]. Data for waste management were retrieved from the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, and Nuclear Safety (BMU) [83]. ...
Article
Full-text available
By combining qualitative scenarios and life cycle assessment (LCA), we place the latter in a larger context. This study outlines the importance of the integration of future perspectives into LCA, and also the significance of taking changes in the environment of technology into account, rather than just technological development itself. Accordingly, we focused on adapting the background system of an attributional LCA in the agri-food sector. The proposed technology was assumed not have evolved in the considered time horizon. In this context, the objectives of this paper were twofold: (i) to methodologically prove the applicability of integrating qualitative scenarios into LCA and (ii) to focus on changes in the background system, which is sometimes overlooked in the context of future-oriented LCA. This allowed to evaluate the future potential of different technologies, assessing their environmental impact under uncertain future developments. Methodologically, the qualitative information from scenarios was transformed into quantitative data, which was successively fed into the life cycle inventory (LCI) of the LCA approach. This point of integration into the second phase of LCA translates into future changes in the entire environment in which a technology is used. This means that qualitatively described scenario narratives need to be converted into value estimates in order to be incorporated into the LCA model. A key conclusion is that changes in the background of an LCA—the changing framework expressed through the inventory database—can be very important for the environmental impact of emerging technologies. This approach was applied to a food processing technology to produce apple juice. The proposed methodology enables technology developers to make their products future-proof and robust against socioeconomic development. In addition, the market perspective, if spelled out in the scenarios, can be integrated, leading to a more holistic picture of LCA with its environmental focus, while simultaneously empowering actors to make the right strategic decisions today, especially when considering the long investment cycles in the agri-food sector.
... Most of the research considers single-use and reusable packaging systems and assessments over their supply chain [5,6]. Several studies have also been published more specifically on the environmental performance of beverage and beverage packaging alternatives over the value chain [7][8][9][10]. When it comes to beverage containers (glasses/cups), UNEP [2] classified the body of research in three categories: (1) LCA studies comparing single-use beverage cups [11,12], (2) LCA studies comparing single-use and reusable cups for hot drinks [13][14][15][16][17], and (3) LCA studies comparing single-use and reusable cups for cold drinks [18,19]. ...
Article
Full-text available
This article aims at comparing the environmental performance of single-use and multiple use beer cups at festivals. A life cycle assessment is conducted for assessing the potential environmental impacts of 1000 servings of 0.5 l of beer at Norwegian festivals. Three single-use systems are considered: one with incineration, one with open loop recycling, and one with closed loop recycling. The two first single-use systems and the reuse system assume the use of PP cups, while the latter uses PET cups, as PET is the only plastic material which currently allows a closed loop recycling system. Existing literature has shown that the choice of system depends on several site-specific parameters such as the definition of the trip rate in a reuse system and on the festival participant’s behaviour. In this article, we calculate the trip rate in the reuse system based on the cup return rates, which varies between all systems. The return rate was calculated using empirical data for Norway’s largest festival. In addition, the recycling stage is modelled with both cut-off and system expansion for assessing the robustness of the results. To reduce environmental impacts related to the serving of beers, festivals are advised to get an overview of the flows of the cups after use, to measure and limit their waste, and to have good collection systems for handling the cups as intended. The results of this study show that this is more important than the choice of cup material. LCA practitioners should be cautious with the implications of the end-of-life modelling approach on the results.
... per litre, 7% higher than for beer in aluminium cans and 196% higher than beer in a 30 L stainless steel keg (Cimini et al., 2016). Indeed numerous LCA studies have focused on packaging materials for food and drink (Amienyo et al., 2013;Ferrara et al., 2021;Hallström et al., 2018;Nessi et al., 2012;Von Falkenstein et al., 2010). A recent study of alternative wine packaging found single use glass bottle to have the highest GWP burden followed by PET, reusable glass, aseptic container (multilayer polymer-coated paperboards) and bag in box (Ferrara et al., 2020;Robertson, 2021). ...
Article
This study assesses the extent to which packaging and distribution impacts can be mitigated as environmental hotspots in the life cycle of micro-brewed beer. We conduct life cycle assessment (LCA) of seven breweries and compare their existing packaging and distribution practises with three mitigation options; use of aluminium cans or reusable glass bottles instead of single use glass bottles or use of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) kegs instead of steel kegs. Findings show that all participating breweries can achieve reductions across multiple impact categories if single use glass bottles are changed to aluminium cans or reusable glass, and further reductions are possible if mode of transport is changed from small delivery vans to lorries for distribution to retailers. The use of PET keg as an alternative to reusable steel keg is a less environmentally sustainable option when beer is delivered short distances, but some savings are possible in long distance scenarios using vans. Carbon footprints per litre beer range from 727 to 1336 g CO2 eq. across the case study breweries, with reductions of 6–27% or 3–27% by changing to aluminium can or reusable glass bottle, respectively, when beer is delivered by van. The optimal combination of reusable glass bottle delivered by lorry reduces carbon footprints by between 45 and 55% but will require significant investment and coordination across the wider food and drink sector to implement. Identifying the best packaging material requires a holistic approach that considers interactions and burdens across packaging manufacturing, distribution, use and end-of-life stages.
Article
Full-text available
The usefulness of food packaging is often questioned in the public debate about (ecological) sustainability. While worldwide packaging-related CO2 emissions are accountable for approximately 5% of emissions, specific packaging solutions can reach significantly higher values depending on use case and product group. Unlike other groups, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and life cycle assessment (LCA) of cereal and confectionary products have not been the focus of comprehensive reviews so far. Consequently, the present review first contextualizes packaging, sustainability and related LCA methods and then depicts how cereal and confectionary packaging has been presented in different LCA studies. The results reveal that only a few studies sufficiently include (primary, secondary and tertiary) packaging in LCAs and when they do, the focus is mainly on the direct (e.g., material used) rather than indirect environmental impacts (e.g., food losses and waste) of the like. In addition, it is shown that the packaging of cereals and confectionary contributes on average 9.18% to GHG emissions of the entire food packaging system. Finally, recommendations on how to improve packaging sustainability, how to better include packaging in LCAs and how to reflect this in management-related activities are displayed.
Article
Full-text available
Purpose Products made of plastic often appear to have lower environmental impacts than alternatives. However, present life cycle assessments (LCA) do not consider possible risks caused by the emission of plastics into the environment. Following the precautionary principle, we propose characterization factors (CFs) for plastic emissions allowing to calculate impacts of plastic pollution measured in plastic pollution equivalents, based on plastics’ residence time in the environment. Methods and materials The method addresses the definition and quantification of plastic emissions in LCA and estimates their fate in the environment based on their persistence. According to our approach, the fate is mainly influenced by the environmental compartment the plastic is initially emitted to, its redistribution to other compartments, and its degradation speed. The latter depends on the polymer type’s specific surface degradation rate (SSDR), the emission’s shape, and its characteristic length. The SSDRs are derived from an extensive literature review. Since the data quality of the SSDR and redistribution rates varies, an uncertainty assessment is carried out based on the pedigree matrix approach. To quantify the fate factor (FF), we calculate the area below the degradation curve of an emission and call it residence time $${\tau }_{R}$$ τ R . Results and discussion The results of our research include degradation measurements (SSDRs) retrieved from literature, a surface-driven degradation model, redistribution patterns, FFs based on the residence time, and an uncertainty analysis of the suggested FFs. Depending on the applied time horizon, the values of the FFs range from near zero to values greater than 1000 for different polymer types, size classes, shapes, and initial compartments. Based on the comparison of the compartment-specific FFs with the total compartment-weighted FFs, the polymer types can be grouped into six clusters. The proposed FFs can be used as CFs which can be further developed by integrating the probability of the exposure of humans or organisms to the plastic emission (exposure factor) and for the impacts of plastics on species (effect factor). Conclusions The proposed methodology is intended to support (plastic) product designers, for example, regarding materials’ choice, and can serve as a first proxy to estimate potential risks caused by plastic emissions. Besides, the FFs can be used to develop new CFs, which can be linked to one or more existing impact categories, such as human toxicity or ecotoxicity, or new impact categories addressing, for example, potential risks caused by entanglement.
Article
The association between consumption of sugar sweetened beverages (SSBs) and diseases including diabetes, liver disease and dental disease is well known, yet SSBs continue to be aggressively promoted, including on university campuses. Healthy beverage initiatives (HBIs) are focused on improving health by decreasing consumption of SSBs. Some HBIs also aim to improve environmental sustainability, e.g. by substituting tap water for SSBs, including the HBI on the 10 campuses of the University of California. However, there is no study of HBIs’ potential environmental benefits. To address this knowledge gap we carried out an environmental life cycle assessment of greenhouse gas emissions, blue water use, and plastic pollution for both liquid content and container for the 940,773 liters of beverages consumed in one calendar year at the University of California, Santa Barbara. We found that climate and water impacts per liter for liquid contents of 10 SSB beverage types and the non-SSB versions of these 10 types without added sugar, were very similar and larger than that of the containers. Impacts of six container types varied widely, with climate impact highest for glass, and blue water and plastic impact highest for plastic containers, while aluminum had higher climate impact than plastic. We then evaluated the environmental benefits of 12 counterfactual HBI scenarios with different combinations of container types and liquid beverages for SSBs, non-SSBs, bottled water, and tap water. The scenario that replaced all other beverages with tap water eliminated almost all environmental impacts, while scenarios that reduced SSBs but increased beverages other than tap water took back many benefits of reduced SSBs. Our results show that to optimize potential environmental benefits, HBIs need to emphasize reducing consumption of all commercial beverages and replacing them with tap water, which will also optimize health benefits. Our methods and results will be valuable for higher education, other institutions, and communities seeking to maximize both health and environmental benefits of healthy beverage policies.
Article
Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) has become the most favourable packaging material world-wide for beverages. The reason for this development is the excellent material properties of the PET material, especially its unbreakability and the very low weight of the bottles compared to glass bottles of the same filling volume. Nowadays, PET bottles are used for softdrinks, mineral water, energy drinks, ice teas as well as for more sensitive beverages like beer, wine and juices. For a long time, however, a bottle-to-bottle recycling of post-consumer PET packaging materials was not possible, because of the lack of knowledge about contamination of packaging polymers during first use or recollection. In addition, the decontamination efficiencies of recycling processes were in most cases unknown. During the last 20 years, PET recollection as well as recycling processes made a huge progress. Today, sophisticated decontamination processes, so-called super-clean recycling processes, are available for PET, which are able to decontaminate post-consumer contaminants to concentration levels of virgin PET materials. In the 1991, the first food contact approval of post-consumer PET in direct food contact applications has been given for post-consumer recycled PET in the USA. Now, 20 years after the first food approval of a PET super-clean recycling process, this article gives an overview over the world-wide progress of the bottle-to-bottle recycling of PET beverage bottles, e.g. the recollection amount of post-consumer PET bottles and the super-clean recycling technologies.
Article
This work aims at examining, from an energy and environmental standpoint, one production cycle which is extremely energy-consuming, namely the glass production for drink containers. More specifically, the industrial process is first analysed as is, so as to evaluate and assess its energy needs and its associated environmental impact. As a second step the influence of glass container recycle and reuse on energy consumption and pollutant emission is investigated. To this end the recycling chain operation is illustrated and appropriate working hypotheses for the modified process are formulated, so that its energy and environmental performance can be evaluated. Finally, the two production scenarios are compared by means of LCA (Life Cycle Assessment) methodology, to the purpose of determining the best recycling percentage for glass containers from the standpoint of energy consumption and pollutant emission minimization, taking also into account the waste legislation currently in force.
Article
Goal, Scope and Background Agricultural production includes not only crop production, but also food processing, transport, distribution, preparation, and disposal. The effects of all these must be considered and controlled if the food chain is to be made sustainable. The goal of this case study was to identify and review the significant areas of potential environmental impacts across the whole life cycle of cane sugar on the island of Mauritius. Methods The functional unit was one tonne of exported raw sugar from the island. The life cycle investigated includes the stage of cane cultivation and harvest, cane burning, transport, fertilizer and herbicide manufacture, cane sugar manufacture and electricity generation from bagasse. Data was gathered from companies, factories, sugar statistics, databases and literature. Energy depletion, climate change, acidification, oxidant formation, nutrification, aquatic ecotoxicity and human toxicity were assessed. Results and Discussion The inventory of the current sugar production system revealed that the production of one tonne of sugar requires, on average, a land area of 0.12 ha, the application of 0.84 kg of herbicides and 16.5 kg of N-fertilizer, use of 553 tons of water and 170 tonne-km of transport services. The total energy consumption is about 14235 MJ per tonne of sugar, of which fossil fuel consumption accounts for 1995 MJ and the rest is from renewable bagasse. 160 kg of CO2 per tonne of sugar is released from fossil fuel energy use and the net avoided emissions of CO2 on the island due to the use of bagasse as an energy source is 932,000 tonnes. 1.7 kg TSP, 1.21 kg SO2,1.26 kgNOxand 1.26 kg CO are emitted to the air per tonne of sugar produced. 1.7 kg N, 0.002 kg herbicide, 19.1 kg COD, 13.1 kgTSS and 0.37 kg PO43- are emitted to water per tonne of sugar produced. Cane cultivation and harvest accounts for the largest environmental impact (44%) followed by fertilizer and herbicide manufacture (22%), sugar processing and electricity generation (20%), transportation (13%) and cane burning (1%). Nutrification is the main impact followed by acidification and energy depletion. Conclusions There are a number of options for improvement of the environmental performance of the cane-sugar production chain. Cane cultivation, and fertilizer and herbicide manufacture, were hotspots for most of the impact categories investigated. Better irrigation systems, precision farming, optimal use of herbicides, centralisation of sugar factories, implementation of co-generation projects and pollution control during manufacturing and bagasse burning are measures that would considerably decrease resource use and environmental impacts. Recommendation and Outlook LCA was shown to be a valuable tool to assess the environmental impacts throughout the food production chain and to evaluate government policies on agricultural production systems.
Article
Most market products are offered to consumers in a wide range of packaging alternatives and the proportion of municipal solid waste attributed to packaging increases year after year. This study assesses the environmental impact of the commonest packaging options on the Spanish market for juice, beer and water. The production of different packaging materials and sizes was evaluated along with their method of final disposal (landfilling, incineration and recycling). Recycling was found to be the most environmentally friendly disposal option for all the packaging alternatives compared, and either incineration or landfilling was considered the second best option depending on the packaging material. The packaging options with the lowest environmental impacts were aseptic carton and plastic packaging (for sizes greater than 1 l). The environmental profile of the whole beverage life cycle was evaluated. The results of the evaluation of the entire life cycle show that the impact of beer packaging is similar to the impact of beer production and these are the highest impact stages in the life cycle of beer. Packaging was found to have the highest environmental impact in the life cycles of water and juice.
Sustainability indicators Water UK: London. www.water.org.uk/home/news/press-releases/ sustain- ability-indicators
• Uk Water
Water UK (2009) Sustainability indicators 2008/2009. Water UK: London. www.water.org.uk/home/news/press-releases/ sustain- ability-indicators-2008-09/sustainability-2009.pdf
Food industry sustainability strategy Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: London. www. defra. gov. uk/ publications
• Defra
Life cycle inventory of three single-serving soft drink containers. Franklin Associates, A Division of ERG: Praire Village
• Franklin Associates
Ullmann’s encyclopaedia of industrial chemistry
• M Bohnet
• C J Brinker
• B Cornils
Bohnet M, Brinker CJ, Cornils B (eds) (2003) Ullmann's encyclopaedia of industrial chemistry. Wiley, New York British Glass (2009) Recycled content. British Glass: Sheffield. www.britglass.org.uk/publications
Market transformation programme, BNCR: 36: direct emission of refrigerant gases. Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
• Defra
Defra (2007) Market transformation programme, BNCR: 36: direct emission of refrigerant gases. Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, London