Life cycle energy and Co2 emissions analysis of food packaging: an insight into the methodology from an Italian perspective

Livan Fratini, Diego Planeta, Rosa Di Lorenzo, Giuseppe Ingarao, Marzia Sciortino, Steven Licata, Marzia Sciortino, Marzia Sciortino, Marzia Sciortino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Packaging is strictly connected to environmental issues as it is a product characterised by high material consumption rate; it is often transported over long distances and has a short life. Providing environmental analysis is, therefore, urgent to identify energy and resources efficient solutions. The paper, taking advantage of a real case study, presents a life cycle-based comparative analysis among three different food packaging systems. The paper compares the life cycle of tin steel, polypropylene and glass-based packaging of an Italian preserves producer. The analysis leads to the conclusion that, for the baseline scenario, polypropylene packaging represents the greenest solution, whereas glass packaging is the worst choice. The paper presents a scenario analysis varying both the method used for accounting for recycling as well as the recycling rates of the packaging materials. Changes in overall results with parameters analysis changing are calculated and highlighted throughout the paper. The impact of a reuse policy of the glass-based solution is also analysed; a model for disposable glass packaging is proposed and the obtained results are compared with the single use polypropylene and tin steel-based packaging. In order to analyse the impact of different End of Life scenarios on the present case study, collecting as well as recycling rates of some European countries have been used. The results revealed a significant fluctuation both in energy consumption and in CO2 emission as the nation changes. Summing up, a methodology for packaging environmental impact analysis is applied to a real case study, some crucial aspects of the methodology have been analysed in depth in order to give a contribution in packaging environmental impact analysis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-43
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Sustainable Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering


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