Sustainability Assessment

Each packaging strategy has a specific impact profile in terms of resource efficiency, as well as social, economic and environmental sustainability. This can lead to conflict of objectives. An example of this is when, by saving on packaging, the proportion of spoiled food increases. To develop targeted and sustainable design strategies for resource-efficient packaging, a life-cycle-related analysis is therefore essential.

A life-cycle-related analysis looks at a product “from cradle to grave”. Thus,the extraction of the necessary raw materials, the production of packaging, the use of packaging as well as the disposal of these are considered. Through this holistic approach, it should be avoided that it only comes to a shift of the negative impact into another life phase of a product. For example, by reducing the weight of a package, the negative impact on the production phase can be reduced.

However, this change can lead to a deterioration in recyclability, which in the worst case could lead to an increase in the negative effects of the packaging. Furthermore, it is possible to identify the hotspots of the negative effects through the life-cycle-related analysis. Through this, those areas can be identified in which it is particularly worthwhile to look for solutions for sustainable packaging strategies.

This research field evaluates and compares selected packaging strategies from other research fields in terms of their social, economic and sustainable impacts. The tools used for this are the Life Cycle Assessment (ELCA) method, the Life Cycle Costing (LCC) for the economic impact and the Social Life Cycle Assessment (SLCA) for the social impact. The aim is to merge the three methods mentioned in a life cycle sustainability assessment (LCSA).

Justus Caspers, M.Sc.
Technische Universität Berlin, Institute of Environmental Technology

Department of Sustainable Engineering

Straße des 17. Juni 135, 10623 Berlin


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