A new life cycle analysis report has highlighted the outstanding environmental credentials of cartonboard packaging when compared against fossil-based alternatives.
Published in June 2021, Cartonboard Life Cycle; Comparing the carbon footprint of carton packaging against alternative solutions, goes into the granular detail of the cradle-to-grave environmental performance of cartonboard in frozen food, ready meal, fast food and small electricals packaging, compared to other commonly-used packaging materials, such as multilaminate film bags, PP trays, PET trays and PVC blister packs.
The study, carried out by RISE (Research Institutes of Sweden) Bioeconomy unit for Pro Carton, the European Association for Carton and Cartonboard Manufacturers, and peer reviewed by Intertek, provides an insight into the relative carbon footprints for packaging in different consumer sectors, alongside detailed explanations of the factors driving those comparative results.
RISE’s cradle-to-grave comparison ensures that the entire lifecycle of packaging is taken into account – from how it is produced (or grown in the case of the wood used in cartonboard manufacture) to processing and disposal. The study reports both fossil green-house-gas (GHG) emissions and biogenic GHG emissions and removals.
Fossil GHG emissions arise from non-renewable sources such as fossil fuels, while Biogenic emissions arise from the combustion of biofuels and the degradation of bio-based products. Biogenic removals refer to CO2 uptake from the atmosphere through photosynthesis during biomass growth.
Pro Carton General Manager Tony Hitchin commented: “Whilst the unique aspects of the life-cycle of fibre-based packaging are taken into account when calculating the total carbon footprint we also wanted to see what the results would be when only the fossil green-house-gas (GHG) emissions were considered and the cartonboard solutions gave a favourable result.”
About Pro Carton
Pro Carton is the European Association of Carton and Cartonboard manufacturers. Its main purpose is to promote the use of cartons and cartonboard as an economically and ecologically balanced packaging medium. www.procarton.com