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Industry Insight

A Tale of Two Packages

By Richard Romano
Published: July 5, 2012

From across the pond, Printweek reports the results of a study commissioned by SIG Combibloc and conducted by the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research (IFEU) that comprised a life cycle analysis of 1,000 milliliter (mL) cartons vs. high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles to gauge their respective environmental impacts. And what did they find? To no one’s surprise, really:
The study, run across 27 EU countries, revealed that, from extraction through to distribution and recycling, PET bottles used 57% more non-renewable fossil fuels, emitted 45% more carbon dioxide and consumed 36% more primary energy than carton packs for the UHT [ultra-high temperature] milk market.
The research, in accordance with environmental accreditation ISO Standards 1404ff, highlighted that carton packs were formed of 75% pulp fibres obtained from wood, a carbon-neutral, renewable energy resource. Carton packs’ low weight meant that fuel emissions during transport were lower and the use of raw paperboard in the products utilises renewable energy.
Previous IFEU studies found that cartons “offered environmental advantages over glass bottles and metal cans.”

Please offer your feedback to Richard. He can be reached at richard@whattheythink.com.



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