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Title
Assessing the Environmental Sustainability of Food Packaging : An Extended Life Cycle Assessment including Packaging-Related Food Losses and Waste, and Circularity Assessment
AuthorPauer, Erik ; Wohner, Bernhard ; Heinrich, Victoria ; Tacker, Manfred
Published in
Sustainability, 2019, Vol. 11, Issue 3, page 925
PublishedMDPI, 2019
LanguageEnglish
Document typeJournal Article
Keywords (DE)food packaging; environmental sustainability; life cycle assessment; circular economy; food losses and waste; sustainability framework
ISSN2071-1050
URNurn:nbn:at:at-fhcw:3-184 Persistent Identifier (URN)
DOI10.3390/su11030925 
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 The work is publicly available
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Assessing the Environmental Sustainability of Food Packaging [0.93 mb]
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Abstract (English)

Food packaging helps to protect food from being lost or wasted, nevertheless it is perceived as an environmental problem. The present study gives an overview of methods to assess the environmental sustainability of food packaging. Furthermore, we propose a methodological framework for environmental assessment of food packaging. There is a broad consensus on the definition of sustainable packaging, which has to be effective, efficient, and safe for human health and the environment. Existing frameworks only provide general guidance on how to quantify the environmental sustainability of packaging. Our proposed framework defines three sustainability aspects of food packaging, namely direct environmental effects of packaging, packaging-related food losses and waste, as well as circularity. It provides a list of key environmental performance indicators and recommends certain calculation procedures for each indicator. The framework is oriented towards the Product Environmental Footprint initiative and the Circular Economy Package of the European Union. Further research should develop a method to determine the amount of packaging-related food losses and waste. Moreover, future studies should examine the potential environmental benefits of different measures to make food packaging more circular.

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CC-BY-License (4.0)Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License