The need for broader system boundaries in bioplastic food packaging life-cycle assessment
The increasing amount of plastic waste generated each year, fuelled by the growing consumption of single-use plastics in food packaging applications, threatens the integrity of our ecosystems while creating an unprecedented waste management crisis.
The biodegradable properties of some bioplastics have been identified as a promising solution to divert food and food packaging waste from landfill while avoiding plastic leaking into the environment. However, such bio-based biodegradable alternatives may not necessarily provide an improvement in overall environmental impact, especially when considering their efficacy at preventing food waste. A study published in The Journal of Cleaner Production conducts a critical review of the relationship between food packaging and food waste, based on conventional and biodegradable plastic food packaging life-cycle assessments (LCAs).
It focuses on the trade-offs that may occur between food packaging production, end-of-life management and food waste prevention across the entire food packaging lifecycle.
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