The re-use of packaging can play an important role in increasing the lifetime of materials and products, preventing the amount of generated waste, and reducing the need for final sinks. However, reliable information about reusable packages in Europe is lacking. This research activity focused on a qualitative and quantitative assessment about the practice of packaging re-use in Italy. Thirty-eight types of packages that are currently re-used in the Italian context were identified. For each of them, the type of material, the market of use, the sector of use, the main basic characteristics (e.g., size and/or weight), the possible reconditioning process applied, and the type of service based on which is run were defined. Then, a dedicated Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) was performed for some of them, i.e. intermediate bulk containers, steel drums for the transport of chemicals and petrochemical products, reusable plastic collapsible crates for fruit and vegetables distribution, and refillable glass bottles for mineral water. The life cycle perspective was used to assess the impacts of re-use as a function of the number of uses (the so-called “rotations”) and to quantify the contribution of the reconditioning process to the total impacts of the life cycle. Moreover, the assessment investigated if a system based on re-use performs better than an equivalent system based on single-use. Each LCA was performed mainly with primary data about the packaging reconditioning process, collected through dedicated questionnaires and visits at some facilities located in the Northern Italy.

Packaging re-use in the circular economy: an LCA evaluation for the Italian context

Rigamonti L.;Biganzoli L.;Tua C.;Grosso M.
2021

Abstract

The re-use of packaging can play an important role in increasing the lifetime of materials and products, preventing the amount of generated waste, and reducing the need for final sinks. However, reliable information about reusable packages in Europe is lacking. This research activity focused on a qualitative and quantitative assessment about the practice of packaging re-use in Italy. Thirty-eight types of packages that are currently re-used in the Italian context were identified. For each of them, the type of material, the market of use, the sector of use, the main basic characteristics (e.g., size and/or weight), the possible reconditioning process applied, and the type of service based on which is run were defined. Then, a dedicated Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) was performed for some of them, i.e. intermediate bulk containers, steel drums for the transport of chemicals and petrochemical products, reusable plastic collapsible crates for fruit and vegetables distribution, and refillable glass bottles for mineral water. The life cycle perspective was used to assess the impacts of re-use as a function of the number of uses (the so-called “rotations”) and to quantify the contribution of the reconditioning process to the total impacts of the life cycle. Moreover, the assessment investigated if a system based on re-use performs better than an equivalent system based on single-use. Each LCA was performed mainly with primary data about the packaging reconditioning process, collected through dedicated questionnaires and visits at some facilities located in the Northern Italy.
Sidisa2021 - XI International symposium on environmental engineering
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11311/1189334
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