Glass Lifecycle Analysis, ISO 14040/44 compliant report released in New Delhi
Lifecycle analysis is a critical task for any product or service offering. It helps in understanding the environmental impacts associated with all the stages of a product's life from-cradle-to-grave. The four main phases of such studies include – Goal and scope of Analysis, Lifecycle inventory, Impact assessment and the output of the study or interpretation. This interpretation helps on focusing the key issues, strengths and further scope. Glass is one such material used in packaging of various consumable items from medicine to liquor.
The All India Glass Manufacturer’s Federation (AIGMF), sole representative body of all segments of the Indian glass industry consisting of large, medium and small-scale manufacturers recently released the first ever ISO 14040/44 compliant report in New Delhi. AIGMF engaged PE Sustainability Solutions Pvt Ltd (PESSPL), a 100% Indian subsidiary of PE International AG, Germany, an independent consulting company with extensive experience in conducting Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) studies and facilitating critical review processes according to ISO 14040/44. The report compares various alternate packaging materials such as PET, beverage carton, aluminium can and pouch.
The objective of this project is to evaluate the environmental profile of glass, determine improvement opportunities, comparison with alternative packaging materials such as PET, beverage carton, aluminium can and pouch and external communication of product environmental attributes for enhancing the green brand of glass product.
The goal of the study included the environmental impact of container glass, potential improvement opportunities and the impacts of alternative packaging solutions such as PET, beverage carton, aluminium can and pouch.
Life cycle stages
The life cycle stages of product systems that were studied included:
· Cradle-to-gate production of raw and relevant ancillary materials needed for the manufacture of container glass and alternative packaging,
· Transports of relevance over the life cycle of the glass containers and alternate packaging under study,
· Manufacture of container glass and alternative packaging,
· End-of-life of glass and alternative packaging containers covering recycling (open and close loop), reuse and disposal.
The different types of glass container and alternate packaging solutions with different volumes and uses which are commercialised in India were considered in this study including Glass bottle, PET, Beverage Carton and Aluminium Cartons from 20 ml to 750ml sizes
There are areas that an LCA is not designed to study where glass excels for both the consumer and the environment. Recent surveys continue to show that most consumers say glass maintains the flavor and shelf life of foods and beverages longer than any other commercial container and is least likely to leach toxins into the packaged products. The consumer concerns are in the areas of Nutrient value, Shelf Life and material choice for maintaining flavours
Report recommendations to magnify green potential of glass with Light weighting glass and Increasing its cullet recycling
A detailed Life cycle analysis report is available for download at www.packagingConnections.com which includes details of the Goal & objective, critical review process, Lifecycle Diagram, Functional units, System boundaries, Data collection process, Recycling and Sensitivity Analysis with Key Results & Recommendations. Link is http://www.packagingconnections.com/downloads/GlassLCA_AbridgedReport_AIGMF_02May2012%20_3_.pdf