Due to the great concern about plastic marine pollution, the demand for glass packaging has significantly increased since many people consider it more sustainable than plastic or multilayer packaging. However, evaluating the environmental impacts that occur in all life cycle phases (production, distribution, use and end of life), glass is often the worst packaging alternative. In particular, this study applied the life cycle assessment (LCA) methodology to compare the environmental performance of the traditional single-use glass bottle for wine with four packaging alternatives (aseptic carton, bag-in-box, refillable glass bottle and multilayer PET bottle) for the Italian market. Primary data about wine packaging systems (weight, size and composition of all components of primary, secondary and tertiary packaging), mode of transport and distribution and disposal scenarios of each packaging system component were provided by the packaging companies, Italian wineries and Italian Packaging Consortia as well as obtained from published literature and technical documents. Life cycle impacts of the wine packaging systems considered were assessed with the ReCiPe 2016 H evaluation method, adopting both midpoint and endpoint approaches. The results obtained highlighted that the most environmentally sound alternative is the bag-in-box, which is slightly better than the aseptic carton. The greater sustainability of bag-in-box and aseptic cartons was essentially due to the composition of the containers, lower packaging weight relative incidence and greater palletizing efficiency. The analysis of alternative scenarios, obtained by the variation of the three sensitive parameters identified (weight of containers, wine distribution distance and packaging disposal scenario), showed that upon decreasing the distribution distance, the environmental performances of refillable glass bottles became comparable to those of aseptic cartons and bag-in-box. These results pointed out that glass bottle reuse in Italy is a convenient alternative only when considering the local market (i.e. for drinks distribution at distances less than 100 km).

Comparative life cycle assessment of alternative systems for wine packaging in Italy

Carmen Ferrara;Giovanni De Feo
2020

Abstract

Due to the great concern about plastic marine pollution, the demand for glass packaging has significantly increased since many people consider it more sustainable than plastic or multilayer packaging. However, evaluating the environmental impacts that occur in all life cycle phases (production, distribution, use and end of life), glass is often the worst packaging alternative. In particular, this study applied the life cycle assessment (LCA) methodology to compare the environmental performance of the traditional single-use glass bottle for wine with four packaging alternatives (aseptic carton, bag-in-box, refillable glass bottle and multilayer PET bottle) for the Italian market. Primary data about wine packaging systems (weight, size and composition of all components of primary, secondary and tertiary packaging), mode of transport and distribution and disposal scenarios of each packaging system component were provided by the packaging companies, Italian wineries and Italian Packaging Consortia as well as obtained from published literature and technical documents. Life cycle impacts of the wine packaging systems considered were assessed with the ReCiPe 2016 H evaluation method, adopting both midpoint and endpoint approaches. The results obtained highlighted that the most environmentally sound alternative is the bag-in-box, which is slightly better than the aseptic carton. The greater sustainability of bag-in-box and aseptic cartons was essentially due to the composition of the containers, lower packaging weight relative incidence and greater palletizing efficiency. The analysis of alternative scenarios, obtained by the variation of the three sensitive parameters identified (weight of containers, wine distribution distance and packaging disposal scenario), showed that upon decreasing the distribution distance, the environmental performances of refillable glass bottles became comparable to those of aseptic cartons and bag-in-box. These results pointed out that glass bottle reuse in Italy is a convenient alternative only when considering the local market (i.e. for drinks distribution at distances less than 100 km).
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11386/4736787
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