Publication Date: 09 October, 2013
Carbon footprint analysis in plastics manufacturing.
Aaron Dormer, Donal P Finn, Patrick Ward, and John Cullen.
Journal of Cleaner Production, 2013.
This paper describes an investigation of the carbon footprint associated with plastic trays, used as packaging for foodstuffs (e.g., mushrooms). In recent years there has been an increase in both consumer and legislative pressure on the packaging sector to reduce the environmental impact of its products, which are often only single use items. Using data from a plastics manufacturer, a cradle-to-grave study was conducted for trays produced from recycled polyethylene terephthalate, calculating their product carbon footprint and analysing how various parameters affect the carbon footprint. A model based on a spreadsheet analysis was developed, which allows the product carbon footprint to be determined using production batch data. It was found that the cradle-to-grave carbon footprint of 1 kg of recycled polyethylene terephthalate trays containing 85% recycled content was 1.538 kg CO2e.