Final report Reusable Packaging Factors to Consider

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Final report Reusable Packaging Factors to Consider Single Trip or Reusable Packaging Considering the Right Choice for the Environment This report describes the factors which need to be considered when reviewing the environmental performance of single trip and reusable packaging systems It is the result of a review of the findings of Life Cycle Assessments and similar studies comparing

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WRAP s vision is a world without waste,where resources are used sustainably. We work with businesses and individuals,to help them reap the benefits of reducing. waste develop sustainable products and,use resources in an efficient way. Find out more at www wrap org uk, Written by Greg Wood and Michael Sturges of Edge member of the Innventia Group of companies. Document reference WRAP 2009 RHI007 Prepared by Innventia Edge. Front cover photography Reusable transit packaging example. WRAP and Innventia Edge believe the content of this report to be correct as at the date of writing However factors such as prices levels of recycled content and. regulatory requirements are subject to change and users of the report should check with their suppliers to confirm the current situation In addition care should be taken. in using any of the cost information provided as it is based upon numerous project specific assumptions such as scale location tender context etc. The report does not claim to be exhaustive nor does it claim to cover all relevant products and specifications available on the market While steps have been taken to. ensure accuracy WRAP cannot accept responsibility or be held liable to any person for any loss or damage arising out of or in connection with this information being. inaccurate incomplete or misleading It is the responsibility of the potential user of a material or product to consult with the supplier or manufacturer and ascertain. whether a particular product will satisfy their specific requirements The listing or featuring of a particular product or company does not constitute an endorsement by. WRAP and WRAP cannot guarantee the performance of individual products or materials This material is copyrighted It may be reproduced free of charge subject to the. material being accurate and not used in a misleading context The source of the material must be identified and the copyright status acknowledged This material must. not be used to endorse or used to suggest WRAP s endorsement of a commercial product or service For more detail please refer to WRAP s Terms Conditions on its. web site www wrap org uk,Executive Summary,Introduction.
Packaging whether single trip or reusable plays a crucial function protecting goods preventing damage during. transport and storage from the elements vibration drop and compression It also provides the opportunity to. communicate information to a customer regarding the product s contents whether promotional factual or. mandated by law as well as providing product security e g making items more tamper resistant. Packaging is only one element of a product s overall environmental impact and often only represents 10 of the. overall impact of the product packaging system It is a highly visible use of resources accounting for about a. fifth of the household waste stream and between a tenth to a twentieth of commercial and industrial waste1 It. is therefore an issue of concern to both consumers and policy makers These concerns are reflected in WRAP s. 2008 2011 business plan which identifies packaging as one of four priority areas. Perceptions of can be reinforced by the single trip nature of the majority of packaging especially consumer. packaging There are significant examples of reusable packaging systems in existence which may offer potential. environmental and or economic benefits over single trip solutions however reusable packaging systems are not. always appropriate solutions If conditions are not appropriate the environmental and or economic costs of. reusable packaging will outweigh the benefits As a result of this the extent to which reuse of packaging offers. genuine environmental benefits remains a central element of the resource efficient packaging debate. Project Objective, The aim of this report is to help packaging decision makers to consider single trip and reusable packaging options. on an informed basis This is achieved by identifying the key factors from an environmental life cycle. perspective that influence the environmental performance of reusable packaging systems. Methodology, Life cycle assessment LCA is a technique that quantifies the environmental impacts of a product or system. typically from the cradle to the grave i e from the winning and conversion of raw materials through. manufacturing of products distribution use and finally management of wastes 2 Many LCA studies have been. performed that evaluate and compare reusable packaging systems and equivalent single trip packaging solutions. A structured and reasoned review of these existing studies was made in order to identify key trends. Understanding the commonalities and differences between studies and results helps WRAP and other interested. parties to better understand the conditions under which reusable packaging may be environmentally preferable to. single trip packaging solutions, Factors which affect relative environmental performance of single trip and reusable. packaging systems, Examination of the LCA studies allowed those factors which consistently had a significant influence on the results. for most impact categories to be identified These factors have been categorised as primary factors Those. 25 3 million tonnes of household waste were collected in England in 2007 08 with packaging accounting for around 5 million. tonnes Commercial and industrial waste is estimated around 68 million tonnes Packaging waste arsing in the commercial and. industrial waste streams is estimated at around 5 million tonnes. Sources Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs Defra online statistics and Environment Agency Commercial. and Industrial Waste Survey 2002 03, Some of the LCA studies included in the reviews were Cradle to Cradle rather than Cradle to Grave depending on the scope.
of that individual study, Single Trip or Reusable Packaging Considering the Right Choice for the Environment 1. factors which also have an influence but typically affect results to a lesser degree or only influence results for. isolated impact categories have been classified as secondary. Drawn from the review of LCAs primary factors which influence the relative environmental performance of. single trip and reusable packaging systems are, Raw materials and energy used in manufacture Single trip packaging systems total environmental. impact is more dependent on raw material and energy use in pack manufacture than reusable packaging due. to the whole of the burden being associated with a single trip whereas the burden is shared equally between. the total number of lifetime trips for reusable packaging. Trip rates for reusables The number of trips made by reusable packaging in its lifetime is critical because. it determines the allocation of the most significant environmental burden package manufacturing to each trip. made by the reusable packaging The more trips a reusable packaging makes the lower its proportion of that. burden becomes However as the number of trips increases the proportional decrease in environmental. burden becomes lower, Transportation distances The return trip for reusables becomes significant when longer transport. distances are considered Therefore longer journey distances tend to favour single trip packaging shorter. journey distances tend to favour reusable packaging. Pool size for reusables The number of packaging units required to support a reusable packaging system. is significantly higher than the number of packaging units required for the immediate and current product. supply at any one point in time This is to allow for the time taken for the return logistics cleaning seasonal. peaks in volumes damages and losses in the system, Vehicle utilisation Reusable packaging is usually heavier and usually occupies a greater volume than. single trip solutions in order to withstand the rigours of multiple trips The effect is to reduce cube utilisation. and therefore additional transport journeys may be required to transport a given amount of product. Recycled content and post consumer recycling The relative environmental performance of single trip. packaging compared to reusable packaging may be significantly influenced by the recycled content of the. single trip packaging format, Secondary factors influencing the relative environmental performance of single trip and reusable packaging.
identified through the LCA reviews include, LCA methodology decisions especially allocation and treatment of carbon sequestration. End of life waste management scenarios considered,Location of recycling facilities. Transportation modes,Energy mix in the systems modelled. Impacts associated with the washing and repair of reusable packaging. Impacts associated with the secondary tertiary and ancillary packaging required to service each packaging. Scope of LCAs Reviewed, Commercial factors are not covered in the scope of the work but they are fundamental to the decision making. process In order for a reusable system to be successful there must be clear cost benefits to the participants. quality improvements and benefits to the service all these commercial and consumer aspects must be balanced. against the environmental considerations, A key factor from both an environmental and commercial perspective that could not be considered as it was.
not within the scope of the LCAs reviewed was product damage Damage occurring during normal distribution. and storage of packaged products can have a significant influence on the environmental burden of the packaged. product system, Single Trip or Reusable Packaging Considering the Right Choice for the Environment 2. Packaging has a vital role in protecting products as well as wider consumer benefits A fundamental role of any. packaging is to deliver the product to the customer or consumer in fit for purpose undamaged condition If a. product is damaged in distribution it results in the waste of that product or it being sold at reduced cost or. having to be repaired Because all the product manufacturing packaging and logistics processes of that. damaged item have already occurred and have been wasted as a consequence of the damage their impact on. the environmental burden of the complete system can be significant This is particularly important where the. ratio of the environmental burden associated with product manufacture versus packaging and delivery is high or. where damage rates are significant The burden of product damage may outweigh the combined burden of all. the factors relating to the packaging surrounding it. Therefore the impact on product damage rates between different single trip and reusable packaging systems is a. highly significant commercial and environmental factor and for this reason must be considered when choosing. between alternatives, The LCA s reviewed represent those which as far as was possible were conducted in compliance with ISO. 14040 but even those that do not meet this standard also inform the objective of this report to identify factors. critical to packaging system choice The LCA s were inconsistent in format system boundaries and reporting. detail and relatively few detailed findings of any critical review However the authors of this report have. examined the results of the individual LCA s reviewed and have only included those factors that have consistently. emerged as important considerations in selection of most appropriate systems. The majority of LCA studies conducted and indeed of those reviewed in this report are sponsored or. commissioned by parties who have a vested commercial interest in the findings of those studies The body. performing the study will follow the goal and scope defined by the commissioning organisation The LCA. standards frameworks including ISO 14040 allow methodological choices to be made within a framework and. cannot govern data robustness LCAs conducted on behalf of interested parties are therefore able to express the. results and in particular the conclusions of a study to favour their own interests. Conclusions on the environmental advantages of different packaging systems are dependant on the priorities set. for each impact category Discrimination between concepts and materials on the basis of LCA findings should be. avoided when the results of in depth sensitivity analyses are not available. Is reusable packaging the right choice for the environment Conclusions. Despite a number of limitations of Life Cycle Assessments including the lack of consideration of product damage. the reviews undertaken as part of this project highlight that data and information from LCAs can be useful when. considering reusable packaging systems, Identified through the review of LCA studies this report highlights the key factors that influence the. environmental performance of single trip and reusable packaging systems The identification of these primary. secondary and other factors should help packaging decision makers to consider alternative packaging options on. an informed basis and crucially will help establish priorities for minimising the environmental impacts of those. systems whichever format is used, The LCAs also demonstrate that the relative merits of single use and reusable packaging are dependent on the. specific circumstances of the individual product packaging format supply chain and logistics in a given situation. It is not possible to state outright that one packaging format is generically environmentally preferable to the. other as it may vary according to these factors, Even where a LCA study has been undertaken thoroughly for a specific product and packaging format with an in.
depth sensitivity analysis the findings may not show conclusively that a particular packaging system has. environmental advantages over another although there will also be studies where a clear environmental. preference is observable, Ultimately of course a reusable packaging system will need to prove that it can deliver commercial benefits. through cost savings and quality improvements as well as environmental benefits in order to be successful. Single Trip or Reusable Packaging Considering the Right Choice for the Environment 3. 1 0 Introduction and Objectives 7,1 1 Introduction 7. 1 2 Project Objective 9,1 3 How the Report is Structured 9. 2 0 Life Cycle Assessment LCA 10,2 1 LCA Benefits 11. 2 2 LCA Limitations 11,3 0 Methodology 13, 4 0 Factors which affect relative environmental performance of Single Trip and Reusable.
Packaging Systems 14,4 1 Primary Factors 15, 4 1 1 Raw materials and energy used in manufacture 15. 4 1 2 Trip rates of reusables 15,4 1 3 Transportation distances 18. 4 1 4 Pool size for reusables 20,4 1 5 Vehicle utilisation 21. 4 1 6 Recycled content and recycling rates 22,4 2 4 2 Secondary Factors 23. 4 2 1 Allocation 23,4 2 2 Location of recycling 24.
4 2 3 End of life waste management 24,4 2 4 Transportation mode 24. 4 2 5 Energy mix in the system 25,4 2 6 Repair of reusable secondary packaging 25. 4 2 7 Cleaning of reusable packaging 25, 4 2 8 Secondary tertiary and ancillary packaging 26. 4 3 Other Factors 26,4 3 1 Pack sizes 26, 4 3 2 Commissioning and Sponsoring Organisation 26. 4 3 3 Carbon sequestration 27,5 0 Conclusions 28,List of Appendices 31.
Appendix 1 Review of Life Cycle Assessments LCAs 32. Appendix 2 Methodology 61,Appendix 3 List of LCAs identified 65. Single Trip or Reusable Packaging Considering the Right Choice for the Environment 4. CBB Corrugated board box, Closed Loop distribution the process of storing and transporting packaging and goods to the final customer on a. closely controlled supply and return basis Packaging used for distributing products is closely matched by. packaging returning,DRC Display ready corrugated containers. DSD Duales System Deutschland,FPC Folding plastic crate. GHG Greenhouse gas,HDPE High density polyethylene,IBC Intermediate bulk container.
LCA Life cycle assessment,LCI Life cycle inventory. PCF Potential carbon footprint,PET Polyester polyethylene terephthalate. PP Polypropylene, Ribbon distribution the process of storing and transporting packaging and goods to final customer on a widely. dispersed and linear basis Packaging supplied moves down through the supply chain often not returning directly. to source or returned from source through a relatively tortuous and often non economic route. RPC Reusable or returnable plastic crates or containers. RTP Returnable transit packaging, Single trip packaging packaging used to protect a product on a single journey through the supply chain from. supplier to the end user of the product where the packaging has no further use and is disposed of e g via. recycling or waste disposal, Return rate The average rate of return of reusable packaging after each trip usually expressed as a percentage.
Reusable packaging packaging used to protect a product on multiple journeys through all or part of the supply. chain from supplier to the end user of the product. Trippage rate The average number of trips a reusable packaging makes in its lifetime. Single Trip or Reusable Packaging Considering the Right Choice for the Environment 5. Acknowledgements, The authors of this report would like to acknowledge the co operation and input of the following individuals and. organisations who responded to the literature review consultation exercise The input from these stakeholders. has helped to ensure that a comprehensive list of studies comparing single trip and reusable packaging was. identified and provided the basis for this project. Angelina de Beaufort,Ardagh Glass,British Glass,Centre for Design RMIT University. Chalmers University of Technology,DTI Danish Technology Institute. German Association of Drinks Carton Manufacturers,Home Retail Group. Kees Sonneveld,Loughborough University,Michigan State University.
Pakkaustutkimus PTR ry,Virginia Tech, Single Trip or Reusable Packaging Considering the Right Choice for the Environment 6. 1 0 Introduction and Objectives,1 1 Introduction, Packaging plays a vital role in protecting products as well as wider consumer benefits and accounts for just one. element of a product s overall environmental impact It is a highly visible use of resources accounting for about a. fifth of the household waste stream and between a tenth to a twentieth of commercial and industrial waste3 and. therefore is an issue of concern to both consumers and policy makers These concerns are reflected in WRAP s. 2008 2011 business plan which identifies packaging as one of the organisation s four priority areas. Perceptions of packaging can be reinforced by the single trip nature of the majority of packaging especially. consumer packaging Nonetheless there are significant examples of reusable packaging systems in existence. which may offer potential environmental and or economic benefits over single trip solutions. Reducing the environmental impact of packaging continues to be a major focus of innovation within the. packaging industry and providers of packaging identify the following criteria as having importance in the. appropriate selection of single trip or reusable packaging system. Reduced resource consumption although the initial specification of reusable packaging may be higher than. that of single trip alternatives considered over a number of uses the total materials used will be less. therefore avoiding a proportion of the environmental costs resource use energy consumption and emissions. such as carbon dioxide and economic costs associated with the production and conversion of packaging. Reduced packaging waste similarly reuse reduces total packaging waste thereby avoiding environmental. and economic costs of recycling and or disposal, Reduction of product wastage due to improved product protection during distribution storage and or use and. ability to afford protection to customer returns, Improved customer loyalty providing more convenience and requiring customers business to business or. Behavioural and attitude change encouraging less reliance on and expectation for throwaway or. disposable consumption, Product volumes if insufficient volumes are required or too many size variants are required or volumes are.
not at consistent or predictable levels the initial capital investment for reusables may not be justified Low. volumes may also restrict opportunities for sector wide collaboration. Supply chain collaboration reusable packaging systems may require investment at multiple stages of the. supply chain requiring substantial collaboration, Distance to market remote customers can make return technically and economically non viable. Degree of dispersal of consumers end users this will influence the efficiency of collection. Physical nature of the supply chain potential for packaging damage and destruction during distribution. Nature of the product toxic and hazardous products foodstuffs which may require additional cleaning. operations to facilitate reuse, Use conditions the potential for damage or destruction of the packaging during opening and use. Pilferage of the reusable packaging many reusable packs make useful household or business storage and. theft of units for this purpose can be significant for example this is an issue for crates In addition some. reusable packaging is constructed from valuable materials and may be stolen for secondary material value for. example steel kegs, 25 3 million tonnes of household waste were collected in England in 2007 08 with packaging accounting for around 5 million. tonnes Commercial and industrial waste is estimated around 68 million tonnes Packaging waste arsing in the commercial and. industrial waste streams is estimated at around 5 million tonnes. Sources Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs Defra online statistics and Environment Agency Commercial. and Industrial Waste Survey 2002 03, Single Trip or Reusable Packaging Considering the Right Choice for the Environment 7. Cube utilisation as it relates to transport and storage costs reusable systems often occupy more volume. than equivalent single trip systems, Potential for increase in product damage due to the introduction of new or different damage mechanisms.
Closed loop versus ribbon and wide dispersal distribution systems closed loop distribution systems maintain. control and visibility of reusable packaging as an asset and usually comprise a small number of locations and. distribution steps Ribbon and wide dispersal distribution have a large number of distribution steps to a large. number of highly dispersed locations and therefore both increase the number of reusables necessary for the. system to operate but also reduce return and cycle rates. Requirement for new or multiple handling systems, Size of the returnable packaging pool required to service the system. As a result of these wide ranging and variable factors the extent to which reuse of products especially. packaging offers genuine environmental benefits remains a central element of the waste and resource. management debate In the furtherance of the drive for resource efficient packaging this study seeks to provide. interested parties with independent and best available information. Life cycle assessment LCA is a technique that quantifies the environmental impacts of a product or system. typically from the cradle to the grave i e from the winning and conversion of raw materials through. manufacturing of products distribution use and finally management of wastes Many LCA studies have been. performed that evaluate and compare reusable packaging systems and equivalent single trip packaging solutions. In addition other environmental appraisals have also investigated the impacts of reusable versus single trip. packaging for example spoilage studies and cost benefit analysis studies. Although few of the LCAs and appraisals considered in this review included data on product damage this has the. potential to have a signification bearing on the environmental impact of a product or packaging system The role. of packaging in preventing damage and spoilage must be considered alongside findings in this report. Product damage is linked to the wider commercial considerations when deciding between reusable and single trip. packaging formats In order for a reusable system to be successful there must be clear cost benefits to the. participants quality improvements and benefits to the service all these commercial and consumer aspects must. be balanced against the environmental considerations4. As per previous WRAP projects for example investigating the findings of LCA studies comparing recycling versus. disposal of waste materials5 a structured and reasoned review can identify key trends from the studies. Understanding the commonalities and differences between studies and results will also help WRAP and other. interested parties to better understand the conditions under which reusable packaging may be environmentally. preferable to single trip packaging solutions This will therefore support objectives to improve resource efficiency. reduce carbon emissions and prevent waste, The Advisory Committee on Packaging on Reuse Taskforce has produced a report which provides information on the. commercial and consumer barriers of reusable systems It has a focus on primary reuse systems in the beverage sector but. includes secondary and transit packaging examples as well. The Environmental Benefits of Recycling 2010 Update available to download at. http www wrap org uk downloads Environmental benefits of recycling 2010 update d1dbe41b 8816 pdf. Single Trip or Reusable Packaging Considering the Right Choice for the Environment 8. 1 2 Project Objective, The aim of this report is to help packaging decision makers to consider single trip and reusable packaging options. on an informed basis This is achieved by identifying the key factors from an environmental life cycle. perspective that influence the environmental performance of reusable packaging systems. 1 3 How the Report is Structured, Reporting for this project is contained in two sections This main body of the report details the factors which. should be considered when choosing single trip or reusable packaging while Appendix 1 provides the reviews. conducted which informs the content of this report. Sections 2 and 4 of this report present boxes within the text that highlight examples drawn from the individual. reviews Further details of individual LCA studies quoted in these boxes can be found in Appendix 1 Review of. LCA Studies, Single Trip or Reusable Packaging Considering the Right Choice for the Environment 9.
2 0 Life Cycle Assessment LCA, LCA is a technique to quantify the environmental impacts of a product or system on the basis of inventories of. environmental factors This can be a product a process or an activity It begins at the extraction of raw. materials including mining forestry and agriculture through manufacturing of products distribution use and. ends with their final disposal landfill or incineration or subsequent reuse or recycling as defined in the scope of. the study At the conclusion of an LCA study a profile of environmental inputs and outputs will have been. constructed for a product a process or an activity The profile will provide quantitative data for the inputs that. is energy fuels and raw materials and the outputs that is airborne emissions waterborne discharges and solid. wastes The various environmental burdens described within the study can then be compared between products. processes or activities The methodological approach is summarised below. Figure 1 LCA methodology,definition,Interpretation. assessment,Source ISO 14040, ISO international standards ISO14040 2006 and 14044 2006 define LCA methodology but by necessity these. standards are non prescriptive They set out a framework to be followed that ensures that LCA practitioners. identify all the parameters and decisions that need to be made in order to complete a justifiable and transparent. The methodology consists of four stages goal and scope definition inventory analysis impact assessment and. interpretation The whole process is iterative and it is possible and sometimes necessary to adjust the goal and. scope as a result of findings during the inventory analysis impact assessment and interpretation stages. The goal and scope of the study defines the objectives the system boundaries to be considered the. functional unit data choices and the environmental impact categories. The inventory analysis of the study collates and calculates the inputs and outputs of the system. The impact assessment of the study takes these inputs and outputs and presents their impact against the. chosen environmental impact categories, Interpretation of the study findings is the process used to interpret and compare results from options. The degree to which supply chain specific data is required and the stringency of data quality needed will depend. upon the defined goal and scope For projects where external communication of results is to be made especially. to compare alternatives or competitors compliance with the International Standards requires that an independent. critical review of the work done and data used is included This adds time and expense to the process but. ensures credibility, Single Trip or Reusable Packaging Considering the Right Choice for the Environment 10.
Defining the goal and scope of the study sets the parameters for the subsequent modelling activities. Some important considerations addressed during this stage are. Study objectives what is the principal aim of the project This will influence the subsequent data quality. requirements the remit of the critical review panel the expertise required for critical review etc. Intended audience who will need to read and understand the results and conclusions This will influence the. way results are presented the type of reporting required etc. System boundaries what unit process are to be included within the analysis. The functional unit what is the functional unit The function that a system delivers so that comparisons. between different scenarios and alternatives can be made. Data quality indicators is the data available for modelling sufficient for delivering against the goal and. The choice of data and data quality which data can be sourced from publically available average datasets. and which data should be supply chain specific, Environmental impacts and categories which environmental impacts and impact categories are to be used in. the final analysis,2 1 LCA Benefits, By collecting data that as close as possible describes the environmental burdens associated with the entire life. cycle of a product and modelling the environmental impact of the inputs and outputs it is possible to make an. objective environmental comparison between alternatives It enables comparison of alternatives based on a. number of environmental impact categories chosen during goal and scope definition such as CO 2 SO2 total. greenhouse gas or other airborne emissions as well as for example total energy solid wastes aquatic and. terrestrial eutrophication etc It therefore enables judgements and selections to be made against specific impact. categories or on a bundle of impact categories,2 2 LCA Limitations. Like any model using data captured from a large number of sources and seeking to calculate an end result the. quality and accuracy of the end result is only as good as the quality of data inputs and the scientific rigour of the. LCA practitioner As with any complex modelling exercise data inaccuracies can compound one another. producing positive or negative errors International standardisation via ISO 14040 and 14044 seek to provide a. methodology and provide a framework for uniformity of approach and transparency but some limitations persist. Setting system boundaries and choice of impact categories. Selection of data sources actual specific data average country data European data etc. Data quality or data gaps,Use of average data, It is possible by selecting particular system boundaries impact categories data and data sources to influence. the results and conclusions of a study by a significant degree This is indeed why the ISO standards series puts. emphasis on transparency and critical review Sensitivity analysis of results to any average data or data of. questionable quality can often reveal whether any significant differences arise in a study. It follows that it is very important when interpreting LCA studies to ensure that sufficient explanation of the. system and data sources is provided Pay particular attention to any potential interests of the. commissioning organisations to ensure that the system or systems have been treated fairly and. appropriately, Single Trip or Reusable Packaging Considering the Right Choice for the Environment 11.
Product Damage, This study found that none of the LCA studies reviewed considered product damage within their system. boundaries but both WRAP and the authors of the report recognise the critical importance of damage rates It is. not possible to ascertain why the boundaries of the LCAs were drawn to exclude product damage This may be. simply due to how boundaries were initially drawn for each study i e with a narrow packaging focus or may. reflect the difficulties that LCA practitioners have in finding reliable data to support an analysis including product. damage both product Life Cycle Inventory data and product damage data would be required. Figure 2 What the LCAs say about their own conclusions. The Apeal TNO drinks study states that the borderline between ecologically favourable and unfavourable. packaging is tenuous Discrimination between concepts and materials on the basis of LCA results should be. avoided when the results of in depth sensitivity analyses are not available Results are strongly influenced by. allocation aspects for instance inclusion of recycling and the valuation of the input of secondary materials and. by the quality of the applied data, This drinks study also states that peer review of LCAs is one of the ways to increase the quality of an LCA. However within these reviews there is normally no in depth data verification as this requires a far greater effort. than is commonly made, The Finnish PTR drinks study states that across the board the order of the overall environmental impacts of. different packaging systems cannot be unambiguously answered Instead the conclusions on the environmental. advantages of different packaging systems depend on the selected aspect i e the priorities set for each impact. category However for the setting of these priorities there are no commonly accepted methods Therefore the. choice of the aspect and its reasoning will vary depending on the context where the results of this study will be. The iGPS ERM pallet study states that as a rule of thumb in LCA differences in impacts of 25 or less are. not considered to be significant due to uncertainties in inputs. Further details of individual LCA studies quoted can be found in Appendix 1 Review of LCA Studies report. which provides information on each LCA study reviewed during the project. Single Trip or Reusable Packaging Considering the Right Choice for the Environment 12. 3 0 Methodology, The research supporting this project was conducted in a series of stages. Stage 1 Identify LCA studies and other environmental appraisals that appraise reusable and single trip. packaging in a product distribution system, Stage 2 Generate a short list of studies for detailed review.
Stage 3 Detailed review of short listed studies, Stage 4 Identify factors which influence the environmental impact of reusable and single trip packaging. Stage 5 Description of the factors for packaging users to consider in order to make an informed decision for. single trip and reusable packaging systems and what factors contribute most to their environmental impact. Each of these stages is described in more detail in Appendix 2. Single Trip or Reusable Packaging Considering the Right Choice for the Environment 13.

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