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The role of
package design in
reducing the
environmental
impacts of
packaging
Pakkaa tulevaisuuteen
15.2.2022,
Frans Silvenius, Pooja Yadav,
Juha-Matti Katajajuuri & Ilkka
Leinonen
Luonnonvarakeskus
Goal of the
study
• The goal of the study was to investigate the environmental impacts
of some novel packaging materials (biodegradable in nature), and
compare the results to conventional plastic packaging.
• Another goal was to investigate the impacts of environmentally
friendly package design on carbon footprint of the package by using
methods
- To reduce the amount of packaging materials
- To replace fossil based plastics materials by the fibre-based materials
- To develop new materials for packages
- And at the end find holistically environmentally better new packaging
options
• The packaging change was assumed not to affect on the amount of
food waste.
2
Demo Cases
and
Methodological
Issues
Selecting the demo
cases
• The demo cases consist of different packaging alternatives
– Conventional, fossil-based plastics multilayer
– Conventional, fossil-based plastics recyclable
– Fibre-based, in use
– New bio-based materials
• The shelf life time is the same – so it is assumed that there
is no differences between food waste
Energy
Transportations
Raw material acquisition
(wood)
Production of
conventional
fossil plastics
New biobased
materials +
bioplastics
Fiber based material
Conversion processes
and production of films
PLA dispersion
Bio-PE/PP
Packing
Meat
supply
chain
Consumer/collection +
possible food waste
Open loop material and
energy recovery
Deep collaboration with VTT and
Luke
Littering
Figure 1: System boudary of cold cut meat
Case.
Materials and weights of the cold cut meat
cases
Weight,
bottom lid
Materials,
bottom lid
Weight, upper
lid
Materials,
upper lid
Conventional
plastic-based
11,5 g PE/PET 2,5 g PE/PET
Recyclable
plastic-based
8,2 g PP/EVOH 2,3 g PP/EVOH
Current fibre-
based
6,45 g Paper/PE/PET/
EVOH
3,3 g Paper/PE/PET/
EVOH
New bio-based
material 1
5,1 g Paper, fibrill
cellulose,
bioPBSA
2,6 g Fibr. Cellulose,
bio. PBSA
New bio-based
material 2
3,8 g Paper, fibrill
cellulose,
modified PLA
2,6 g Fibr. Cellulose,
bio. PBSA
Conversion and films primary data
PET, PE, PP from Plastics Europe
EVOH from PE International, paper primary data and Ecoinvent
Fibrillated cellulose from VTT:s carbon footprint study
Other new bio-based and fossil materials from literature and Ecoinvent
Introduction: Main Data sources
End-of-
Life
• Scenario one: Energy recovery for all materials.
• Scenario two: Recycling rate of fibres 100 % and recyclable
plastics, plastics energy recovery 100 % for multilayer plastics
• Replaced energy Finnish average heat energy and electricity.
• Emissions on incineration based on the carbon contents of the
materials.
• Recycling for fibres and plastics modelled assumed that
recycled material replaced virgin material - losses taken into
account. Change of properties of the recycled materials not
taken into account
Results
10 Figure 2: Results of carbon footprint assessments for cold cut meat
packaging. CH for biogenic carbon 0
0
0.05
0.1
0.15
0.2
0.25
0.3
0.35
0.4
Conventional plastic-
based raw material
Current fibre-based
packaging
Recyclable plastic-based
packaging
Stucture 1 Stucture 2
Results, kgCO2-ekv/kg meat
Energy recovery Recycling
-0.200
-0.100
0.000
0.100
0.200
0.300
0.400
0.500
Plastic raw Materials Fibre raw Materials Paper Processing End-of-life Emisions End-of-life Credits
Climate Impact: Cold Cut Meat Packaging
Figure 3: Climate Impact of Packaging of Cold Cut Meat,
kgCO2-eq./kg meat. CF for biogenic carbon 0
Main Results
• Recyclable plastic alternative has in this investigation lower climate
impact than multi-layer plastic because of recyclability.
• New material-based packaging with modified PLA has lowest climate
impact.
• Current fibre-based packaging has two times lower climate impact than
conventional plastic-based and lower than recyclable plastic-based
alternative with incineration scenario.
• The main emission sources are production and end-of-life of virgin
plastics.
• CO2-emissions for end-of-life of fibers are biogenic, and CO2-emissions
for end-of-life of plastics are fossil in incineration scenario.
• The CO2-emission factor for production chain and energy recovery of
fibres is lower than for plastics.
Significance of end-of-life scenario
• When incineration scenario is used, carbon footprint is lower for
fibre-based packaging than plastic-based ones.
• When recycling scenario is used, recyclable plastic-based
alternative has lower climate impact than current fibre-based
alternative.
– This is because plastic part of fibre-based alternative is not recyclable so
that the end-of-life scenario for them is incineration. Otherwise the result
would be different.
– It must be kept in mind that 100% recycling rate for plastics and fibres in this
scenario is higher than in practise. It must be kept in mind that now the
environmental credits are given 100% for recycling of plastics and fibres
(assumed to replace virgin plastics and fiber) with only 20 % loss for
plastics. So it has not been taken into account the change of properties of
the recycled plastic and fibre materiasl.
Conclusions
Conclusion
s
• According to the results it is possible to influence remarkably on environmental
impact of packaging by design.
• The results are highly dependent on the selected packaging materials and their
amounts and dependent on chosen assessment methodologies especially for
end-of life scenario – that is why the two plastic-based alternative have very
different results.
• The main reason of package is to protect food that gives limitations for
packaging solutions, unnecessary food loss should be avoided always.
• The whole life-cycle should be included, when doing LCA of packages.
• Including different end-of-life scenarios is good, when there exists several end-
of-life possibilities.
Pakkaussuunnittelun rooli elintarvikepakkauksiin liittyvien ympäristövaikutusten vähentämisessä

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Pakkaussuunnittelun rooli elintarvikepakkauksiin liittyvien ympäristövaikutusten vähentämisessä

  • 1. The role of package design in reducing the environmental impacts of packaging Pakkaa tulevaisuuteen 15.2.2022, Frans Silvenius, Pooja Yadav, Juha-Matti Katajajuuri & Ilkka Leinonen Luonnonvarakeskus
  • 2. Goal of the study • The goal of the study was to investigate the environmental impacts of some novel packaging materials (biodegradable in nature), and compare the results to conventional plastic packaging. • Another goal was to investigate the impacts of environmentally friendly package design on carbon footprint of the package by using methods - To reduce the amount of packaging materials - To replace fossil based plastics materials by the fibre-based materials - To develop new materials for packages - And at the end find holistically environmentally better new packaging options • The packaging change was assumed not to affect on the amount of food waste. 2
  • 4. Selecting the demo cases • The demo cases consist of different packaging alternatives – Conventional, fossil-based plastics multilayer – Conventional, fossil-based plastics recyclable – Fibre-based, in use – New bio-based materials • The shelf life time is the same – so it is assumed that there is no differences between food waste
  • 5. Energy Transportations Raw material acquisition (wood) Production of conventional fossil plastics New biobased materials + bioplastics Fiber based material Conversion processes and production of films PLA dispersion Bio-PE/PP Packing Meat supply chain Consumer/collection + possible food waste Open loop material and energy recovery Deep collaboration with VTT and Luke Littering Figure 1: System boudary of cold cut meat Case.
  • 6. Materials and weights of the cold cut meat cases Weight, bottom lid Materials, bottom lid Weight, upper lid Materials, upper lid Conventional plastic-based 11,5 g PE/PET 2,5 g PE/PET Recyclable plastic-based 8,2 g PP/EVOH 2,3 g PP/EVOH Current fibre- based 6,45 g Paper/PE/PET/ EVOH 3,3 g Paper/PE/PET/ EVOH New bio-based material 1 5,1 g Paper, fibrill cellulose, bioPBSA 2,6 g Fibr. Cellulose, bio. PBSA New bio-based material 2 3,8 g Paper, fibrill cellulose, modified PLA 2,6 g Fibr. Cellulose, bio. PBSA
  • 7. Conversion and films primary data PET, PE, PP from Plastics Europe EVOH from PE International, paper primary data and Ecoinvent Fibrillated cellulose from VTT:s carbon footprint study Other new bio-based and fossil materials from literature and Ecoinvent Introduction: Main Data sources
  • 8. End-of- Life • Scenario one: Energy recovery for all materials. • Scenario two: Recycling rate of fibres 100 % and recyclable plastics, plastics energy recovery 100 % for multilayer plastics • Replaced energy Finnish average heat energy and electricity. • Emissions on incineration based on the carbon contents of the materials. • Recycling for fibres and plastics modelled assumed that recycled material replaced virgin material - losses taken into account. Change of properties of the recycled materials not taken into account
  • 10. 10 Figure 2: Results of carbon footprint assessments for cold cut meat packaging. CH for biogenic carbon 0 0 0.05 0.1 0.15 0.2 0.25 0.3 0.35 0.4 Conventional plastic- based raw material Current fibre-based packaging Recyclable plastic-based packaging Stucture 1 Stucture 2 Results, kgCO2-ekv/kg meat Energy recovery Recycling
  • 11. -0.200 -0.100 0.000 0.100 0.200 0.300 0.400 0.500 Plastic raw Materials Fibre raw Materials Paper Processing End-of-life Emisions End-of-life Credits Climate Impact: Cold Cut Meat Packaging Figure 3: Climate Impact of Packaging of Cold Cut Meat, kgCO2-eq./kg meat. CF for biogenic carbon 0
  • 12. Main Results • Recyclable plastic alternative has in this investigation lower climate impact than multi-layer plastic because of recyclability. • New material-based packaging with modified PLA has lowest climate impact. • Current fibre-based packaging has two times lower climate impact than conventional plastic-based and lower than recyclable plastic-based alternative with incineration scenario. • The main emission sources are production and end-of-life of virgin plastics. • CO2-emissions for end-of-life of fibers are biogenic, and CO2-emissions for end-of-life of plastics are fossil in incineration scenario. • The CO2-emission factor for production chain and energy recovery of fibres is lower than for plastics.
  • 13. Significance of end-of-life scenario • When incineration scenario is used, carbon footprint is lower for fibre-based packaging than plastic-based ones. • When recycling scenario is used, recyclable plastic-based alternative has lower climate impact than current fibre-based alternative. – This is because plastic part of fibre-based alternative is not recyclable so that the end-of-life scenario for them is incineration. Otherwise the result would be different. – It must be kept in mind that 100% recycling rate for plastics and fibres in this scenario is higher than in practise. It must be kept in mind that now the environmental credits are given 100% for recycling of plastics and fibres (assumed to replace virgin plastics and fiber) with only 20 % loss for plastics. So it has not been taken into account the change of properties of the recycled plastic and fibre materiasl.
  • 15. Conclusion s • According to the results it is possible to influence remarkably on environmental impact of packaging by design. • The results are highly dependent on the selected packaging materials and their amounts and dependent on chosen assessment methodologies especially for end-of life scenario – that is why the two plastic-based alternative have very different results. • The main reason of package is to protect food that gives limitations for packaging solutions, unnecessary food loss should be avoided always. • The whole life-cycle should be included, when doing LCA of packages. • Including different end-of-life scenarios is good, when there exists several end- of-life possibilities.