Circular Economy / 10.05.2022

LCA to make better decisions

LCA to make better decisions

Pressure on the industry is increasing. To make a circular economy in packaging a reality it is not only necessary to consolidate good practices to achieve cleaner and greener production, but it is also necessary to make it possible for consumers (and those responsible for purchasing in the value chain) make informed decisions that actively contribute to the transition from a linear to a circular model of production and consumption. And this involves providing consumers and purchasing managers with better information and putting aside, for the good of all, certain unfair commercial practices such as misleading environmental claims and the use of sustainability labels and unreliable or not very transparent information tools.

The plastic packaging market has shown itself to be very vulnerable to these bad practices and PET thermoforms are being subjected to incoherent decisions and, not infrequently, simply divergent with sustainability and the fight against global warming. But how is it possible to provide better information to be able to choose products that are really better for the environment? The answer lies in the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) tool, which is an internationally standardized method by ISO 14040 and which examines a set of interactions that a product or service has with the environment and the impact derived from these interactions. The tool considers the entire life cycle, including the extraction and processing of raw materials, production, distribution and use (and therefore also reuse and maintenance), recycling and final disposal.

It is pivotal that companies incorporate the LCA tool in their decision-making regarding the improvement of their processes and products and that they transfer to the final consumer environmental claims based on these results, so that generic expressions such as “sustainable”, ” green”, “ecofriendly”, “responsible”, etc. would be banished and the specification of the claim would be provided in clear and, as far as possible, quantitative terms. And, of course, produce sustainability labels based on certification systems and thus guarantee that the information is objective, verifiable and with an independent verification system.

The thermoformer Envaplaster, like other companies in the value chain of thermoformed PET trays, has taken this first step by being certified under the Retray Process scheme. In addition, to help its customers make better decisions, it has commissioned a comparative analysis of a tray made with rPET compared to other packaging solutions that are emerging on the market, such as cardboard trays with PE skin coating or cardboard trays with thermoformed PET. In the webinar that will be held on May 18, Jorge San Juan, director manager, and Joaquín Canalejo, sales manager, will comment the results obtained and will consider whether, ultimately, replacing a PET tray with packaging solutions made of alternative materials means necessarily the best action against climate change or if, on the contrary, it can be counterproductive and lead to a greater environmental impact.

Registration here.