Comparative LCA of packaging systems in Australasia yields surprising results

thinkstep-anz recently published a report on the comparative LCA study they undertook for Tetra Pak comparing eight different packaging materials to Tetra Pak cartons.

The study considered a range of:

  • packaging size classes (from 200 mL to 2 L)
  • product categories (long-life milk, fresh milk, juice, water, and food)
  • filling types (fresh and aseptic).

The environmental performance of each packaging system was determined by its carbon footprint, measured by Global Warming Potential, or GWP over 100 years.

In addition, the packaging systems were assessed against two criteria:

  1. The mass of product that can be contained by a certain amount of packaging (product-to-packaging ratio)
  2. How much plastic packaging is required to contain a fixed volume of product (plastic-per-litre ratio)

Out of all packaging systems included within this study, it was found that cartons have the lowest (or lowest-equal) carbon footprint. This is the case across all size classes and product categories investigated. Moreover, it was found that cartons are more efficient at containing products using less packaging than all other packaging systems considered, except pouches.

Download and read the full report here.

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