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Comparison of Life Cycle Assessment of PET Bottle and Glass Bottle

Authors:

Abstract

Starting in the 1980s, environmental analysis of products became topical as consumers began to request information about the environmental consequences of their consumption. Applying a life cycle perspective in the environmental analysis of products and processes gave birth to a new discipline, life cycle assessment (LCA). This approach, also called 'cradle to grave', has since been applied widely in industry to reduce the environmental burden from production, use and disposal of many products. Within the past decade, LCA has also been applied in waste management providing new insight into the environmental aspects of waste management. Life-cycle studies range from highly detailed and quantitative assessments that characterize, and sometimes assess the environmental impacts of energy use, raw material use, wastes and emissions over all life stages, to assessments that qualitatively identify and prioritize the types of impacts that might occur over a life cycle. In this study, two different water packaging types, consists of glass bottle and PET bottle are evaluated from Life Cycle Analysis criteria. For water packaging, waste scenarios constituted through real recycling rates are formed, life cycle comparisons are done including these scenarios and is amid at determination of the type that has lower environmental load. Inventory analysis, waste scenarios, assessment and comparing operations in the system are done by using software entitled with SimaPro 8.0.1 which is developed as appropriate with ISO 14040 Life Cycle Assessment Standard.
1Corresponding author: Ondokuz Mayis University, Engineering Faculty, Environmental Engineering
Department, 55200, Atakum/Samsun sevde.ustun@omu.edu.tr
1Ondokuz Mayis University, Engineering Faculty, Environmental Engineering Department, 55200,
Atakum/Samsun hbuyukg@omu.edu.tr
Comparison of Life Cycle Assessment of PET
Bottle and Glass Bottle
Sevde Ustun Odabasi*1and Hanife Buyukgungor1
Abstract
Starting in the 1980s, environmental analysis of products became topical as consumers began to request information about
the environmental consequences of their consumption. Applying a life cycle perspective in the environmental analysis of
products and processes gave birth to a new discipline, life cycle assessment (LCA). This approach, also called ‘cradle to
grave’, has since been applied widely in industry to reduce the environmental burden from production, use and disposal of
many products. Within the past decade, LCA has also been applied in waste management providing new insight into the
environmental aspects of waste management. Life-cycle studies range from highly detailed and quantitative assessments
that characterize, and sometimes assess the environmental impacts of energy use, raw material use, wastes and emissions
over all life stages, to assessments that qualitatively identify and prioritize the types of impacts that might occur over a life
cycle.
In this study, two different water packaging types, consists of glass bottle and PET bottle are evaluated from Life Cycle
Analysis criteria. For water packaging, waste scenarios constituted through real recycling rates are formed, life cycle
comparisons are done including these scenarios and is amid at determination of the type that has lower environmental
load. Inventory analysis, waste scenarios, assessment and comparing operations in the system are done by using software
entitled with SimaPro 8.0.1 which is developed as appropriate with ISO 14040 Life Cycle Assessment Standard.
Keywords: Life Cycle Assessment, ISO 14040, SimaPro 8.0.1, Plastic and Glass.
1. INTRODUCTION
Growing world population requires more and more food. It consequently leads to increasing amount of
packaging wastes such as bottles, boxes, foils [1]. The European Commission obligates the member states to
harmonise the waste management and implement the waste hierarchy in national regulation [2]. Considering
that the above-mentioned EC/98/2008 directive stresses the importance of human health protection in waste
management, a comprehensive life cycle assessment (LCA) might be necessary to find environmental hot-
spots in the packaging value chain [3]. Life cycle assessment is a “cradle-to-grave” approach for assessing
industrial systems. “Cradle-to-grave” begins with the gathering of raw materials from the earth to create the
product and ends at the point when all materials are returned to the earth. LCA evaluates all stages of a
product’s life from the perspective that they are interdependent, meaning that one operation leads to the next.
LCA enables the estimation of the cumulative environmental impacts resulting from all stages in the product
life cycle, often including impacts not considered in more traditional analyses (e.g., raw material extraction,
material transportation, ultimate product disposal, etc.) [4].
EurAsia Waste Management Symposium, 2-4 May 2016, YTU 2010 Congress Center, İstanbul/Türkiye
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The environmental impacts of beverage packaging depend on bottle characteristics and it is always a
fundamental question from the environmental analysis point of view. In some relations, the one-way PET
(polyethylene terephthalate) bottles have the most advantageous environmental performance relating to
production and usage [5,6]. The one-way glass bottles are considered by many studies as the most
unfavourable packaging in term of associated environmental burdens, which either originates in higher
specific weight (necessary material mass per packed volume) or energy consumption during the entire life
cycle [6,7,8]. LCA of waste management, the end-of-life of products is the primary focus [9].
Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles have experienced rapid growth since the 1970s when the technique
of blow moulding was introduced [10]. Today, bottle grade PET is one of the most important packaging
plastics. In 2007, the worldwide consumption of bottle grade PET was 15 million metric tonnes (106 metric
tonnes or Mt) [11], representing 8% of the total demand of standard plastics.
Producing glass consumes a large amount of energy as high temperatures are needed for melting the raw
materials. Due to its high share of energy per tonne of product, the glass industry is usually referred to as an
energy intensive industry in the literature [12].
Types of wastes, environmental fate due to manufacturing process and methods of production wastes’ dispose
have been evaluated and also feedback mechanisms after the usage of productions are examined and the
necessity of feedback is investigated in this study. The aim is to evaluate LCA of PET bottle and glass bottle
numerically with material-energy-waste- environmental impact circle.
2. MATERIAL AND METHODS
LCA supports the assessment of environmental impacts of beverage packaging systems presented below.
SimaPro 8.0 LCA software was applied conducting the environmental analysis.
LCA has been standardized by the ISO 14040 series, namely:
• ISO 14040: 2006 Principles and framework (ISO, 2006a); and
• ISO 14044: 2006 – Requirements and guidelines (ISO, 2006b) [13].
Aims and scope were included in introduction, functional unit, system boundaries analyzed, impact
assessment methods selected and a simplified inventory were defined in present section, while impact
assessment and interpretation described in results and discussion following.
2.1. Goal and Functional Unit
The goal of this LCA is to assess the environmental impacts of glass bottle compared with PET bottle. The
functional unit is defined as “one piece 33 cl bottle”. PET and glass bottle for water are commonly used in
our daily life. This study’s goal is to find a product having the lowest environmental impact.
2.2. System Boundary
The scope of this LCA is cradle to door. For a product, this includes all steps from transportation of raw
materials and fuels, followed by all conversion steps until the product i.e bottle-, is delivered to customer.
For water bottle, waste scenario was formed to end up product in landfill. Inventory analysis, waste scenarios,
assessment and comparing operations in the system are done by using software entitled with SimaPro 8.0.1,
Eco-Indicator 99 (H) method, which is developed as appropriate with ISO 14040 Life Cycle Assessment
Standard. The data required to run software is provided from manufacturer, program’s database and literature.
Bottle caps are not included in the system boundary. System boundary is shown in Figure 1.
After the production of bottle in Istanbul, production unit, they were transported to Sakarya where filling of
bottles were performed by filling station. The final destination of product is market and the target market is
Samsun in our case. After the consumption of water, waste plastic water bottles, customer dump empty bottle
which end up landfill.
The distance between above mentioned locations are mentioned as follows:
Istanbul - Sakarya = 154 km
Sakarya Samsun = 597 km
Samsun Samsun Landfill =20 km
Comparison of Life Cycle Assessment of PET Bottle and Glass Bottle, Sevde Ustun Odabasi and Hanife
Buyukgungor
3
Figure 1. System boundary. Production of glass and PET bottles and waste scenarios
3. RESULT AND DISCUSSIONS
The selected life cycle environmental impact method Eco-Indicator 99 (H), was used to evaluate the endpoint
impacts of the system. The overall system was investigated from global point of view by using indicator of
human health, ecosystem quality and resources. Waste scenario is disposed of in landfills. Disposed of
landfill data is taken from the program’s database [14].
According to our research, results were in favor of PET bottles with respect to overall environmental impacts.
On the other hand glass bottles are not suitable, because of the high energy consumption during their
production phase. Along with it the travelling cost of glass bottles, the cost that stakeholders need to transport
products to the destination or target community, is also because the weight of life cycle assessment of both
type of bottles are plotted against ecosystem, human health, resources and it was obvious that PET bottles
have far less impact on above mentioned parameters. Simple production method, less fuel consumption and
less travelling cost are the main reasons for the less environmental impact. Comparing table is shown in
Figure 2.
Glass Bottle
PET Bottle
Transport of raw materials
Transport of raw materials
Transport of products
Transport of products
Transport of filling station
Transport of filling station
Transport of customer
Transport of lanfill
Transport of lanfill
(Istanbul-Sakarya:154 km)
(Sakarya-Samsun:597 km)
(Samsun-Samsun Landfill:20 km)
EurAsia Waste Management Symposium, 2-4 May 2016, YTU 2010 Congress Center, İstanbul/Türkiye
4
Figure 2. Comparison of LCA glass bottle with LCA PET bottle
The results presented by weighting triangle are illustrated in figure 3. The plot is showing relationship
between ecosystem quality, human health, and natural resources for the LCA of glass bottles and PET bottles.
According to the plot LCA of PET bottle showed lower environmental load. That is because the red color of
triangle is showing high compatibility with the environment. The other color, blue, shows high environmental
load, which is not visible in the triangle because of the high values of PET bottles.
Figure 3. Weighting triangle is compered with LCA glass bottle and LCA PET bottle.
0
0,00001
0,00002
0,00003
0,00004
0,00005
0,00006
Human Health Ecosystem Quality Resources
Comparing 1 p 'LCA-glass bottle' with 1 p 'LCA-PET bottle';
Method: Eco-indicator 99 (H) V2.08 / Europe EI 99 H/H / Normalization /
Excluding infrastructure processes / Excluding long-term emissions
LCA-glass bottle
LCA-PET bottle
Comparison of Life Cycle Assessment of PET Bottle and Glass Bottle, Sevde Ustun Odabasi and Hanife
Buyukgungor
5
4. CONCLUSION
LCA comes under sustainability techniques. LCA is not a tool to make decisions in fact it helps in decision
making. The results we obtained from present study are not the final results can be implemented also
according to available budget. Glass bottles have more negative impacts on environmental in comparison
with PET bottles will end up our result. Later these bottles will end up in landfill. But according to our
recommendations the best approach is recycling of these bottle, if the enough budget is available.
Consequently like in this study, life-cycle assessment studies are uniquely useful tool for assessing the impact
of human activities. These impacts can only be fully understood by assessing them over a life cycle, from raw
material acquisition to manufacture, use, and final disposal.
REFERENCES
[1]. G. Gomez, M. Meneses,, L. Ballinas, F., Castells, 2009. Seasonal characterization of
municipal solid waste (MSW) in the city of Chihuahua”, Waste Managament
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[2]. EC, 2008a. 2008/98/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 November 2008 on Waste and
Repealing Certain Directives.
[3]. B. Simon, M. B. Amor and R. Földenyi “Life Cycle Impact Assessment of Beverage Packaging Systems: Focus on the
Collection of Post-Costumer Bottles” Journal of Cleaner Production, vol:112, pp: 238-248, June 2015.
[4]. Kırsen Dogan “Life Cycle Assessment of PET Bottle” Environmental Engineering Thesis, Dokuz Eylul University,
Science Industry, Izmir, September, 2008.
[5]. C.M.V.B. Almeida, A.J.M. Rodrigues, S.H. Bonilla, B.F. Giannetti, Energy as a tool for ecodesign: evaluating
materials selection for beverage packages in Brazil”. Journal of Cleaner Production, vol:18, pp:32-43, January, 2010.
[6]. D. Diakoulaki, N.K. Koumoutsos,”Comparative evaluation of alternative beverage containers with multiple
environmental criteria in Greece.” Resource Conserv. Recycling. Vol: 3, pp:241-252, Greece,1990..
[7]. J. Cleary, “Life cycle assessments of wine and spirit packaging at the product and the municipal scale: a Toronto,
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[10]. W. Glenz, “Polyethyleneterephthalat (PET)” Kunststoffe, vol:10, pp:76-80, 2007.
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Management Symposium, 2014.
BIOGRAPH
Sevde USTUN ODABASI works as a research assistant at Ondokuz Mayis University
Environmental Engineering Department.
Ustun Odabasi received her BSc in Environmental Engineering in 2011 from Ondokuz Mayis
University, Samsun, Turkey, and her MSc in Environmental Engineering in 2013 from Ondokuz
Mayis University, Samsun, Turkey. Her master thesis subject was ‘Life Cycle Assessment’. She is
still PhD student on Investigation of Environmental Effects of Micropollutants and Its Removal in
Frame of Sustainability at Ondokuz Mayis University Environmental Engineering Department.
She may be contacted at sevde.ustun@omu.edu.tr or sevde.ustun@gmail.com.
... Within the plastic packaging sector, carbon footprints have already been calculated for various plastic packaging products: Pasqualino et al (2011) examined the carbon footprint effects of bottling water in both PET and glass bottles of various size. Ustun Odabasi and Buyukgungor (2016) studied the life cycle assessment (LCA) effect of PET and glass bottles. Both studies showed the LCA of plastics and glass, and observed that plastics have a lower carbon footprint and lower environmental effect in comparison with glass packaging material. ...
... For a product, this includes all steps from transportation of raw materials and fuels, followed by all conversion steps until the product-i.e. delivered to customer (Ustun Odabasi and Buyukgungor, 2016). By looking into all disposal methods, one method must be selected out. ...
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Energy and Carbon Footprint of Plastic Coupling Production
  • S Ustun
  • H Buyukgungor
S. Ustun, H. Buyukgungor, "Energy and Carbon Footprint of Plastic Coupling Production" in Eurasia 2014 Waste Management Symposium, 2014.