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Title: Life cycle assessment of two packaging materials for carbonated beverages (polyethylene terephthalate vs. glass): Case study for the lebanese context and importance of the end-of-life scenarios
Authors: Marleine Boutros
Saba, Sabine 
Manneh, Rima 
Affiliations: Department of Chemical Engineering 
Issam Fares Faculty of Technology 
Department of Chemical Engineering 
Editors: Bin Chen
Keywords: Life cycle assessment
Polyethylene terephthalate
Waste management
Water scarcity
Issue Date: 2021
Publisher: Elsevier
Part of: Journal of Cleaner Production
Volume: 314
Solutions to environmental issues require decision making based on modeling tools such as life cycle assessment (LCA). Industrial sectors contribute to environmental problems due to their reliance on fossil fuels, overuse of resources and generation of waste. One of these sectors is the carbonated beverages industry where packaging materials are extensively used and are disposed of using various end-of-life management techniques. The aim of this study is to compare the cradle-to-grave life cycle environmental impacts of two packaging materials for a carbonated beverage: polyethylene terephthalate (PET) versus returnable glass. The originality of this research is highlighted through the provision of detailed primary data along with the investigation of the water scarcity for both packaging materials. Several sensitivity analyses are performed, highlighting the importance of the end-of-life scenarios adopted. The database used is ecoinvent, 2019 and the software used to model the life cycle inventory is SimaPro. The IMPACT2002+ method is used to evaluate all environmental impacts except water scarcity which is assessed using the Water Use in Life Cycle Assessment (WULCA) method. The outcomes of the study show that, for the waste scenario considered, the 500 mL PET bottle presents lower impacts than the 250 mL returnable glass bottles. However, as part of the sensitivity analysis, when open-burning is added to the waste scenario of PET to better depict the Lebanese context in terms of waste management, results are shifted and the 250 mL returnable glass bottles present the least environmental impacts. This highlights the importance of designing and implementing sound waste management policies by different policy makers. This paper can promote the use of LCA in industries, especially for developing countries, to find ways to reduce the life cycle impacts of their products, and it can help to raise awareness to the general public on the need of proper waste management. As for the water scarcity footprint, it is estimated at 6.58E-02 m3world eq for PET and 4.96E-01 m3world eq for glass.
DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2021.128289
Ezproxy URL: Link to full text
Type: Journal Article
Appears in Collections:Department of Chemical Engineering

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