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Tuesday, June 28, 2022

'Aluminum beverage cans have superior environmental performance'

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New Delhi, June 14 (Ajit Weekly News) A study that has used India-specific data and the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) tool across a ‘cradle to grave’ cycle of substrates has revealed that aluminum beverage cans have superior environmental performance over glass, PET and multi-layer drinks containers.

The Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) compared the environmental sustainability of aluminum cans, glass bottles, PET plastic bottles and multi-layer packaging (MLP), all of which were studied against 18 environmental impact categories including global warming potential (GWP), water consumption, acidification and material circularity.

The first-of-its-kind in India study by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) assessed 250 ml and 500 ml aluminum cans; 200 ml, 600 ml and 750 ml PET bottles; 200 ml, 330 ml and 650 ml glass bottles; and 200 ml MLP cartons.

“In its 500 ml form, aluminum cans, already the world’s most recycled drinks container, averaging 69 per cent globally and 85 per cent in India, performed the best in multiple impact categories, in particular because of its recyclability, high recycled content and light weight,a the study ‘Sustainable Beverage Packaging Options in India: A Comparative Life Cycle Assessment Study’ said.

The 200 ml MLP cartons came a close second with regards to GWP, followed by the 600 ml PET bottles.

“The single use glass bottles did not perform well across several impact categories due to their high energy intensive manufacturing and relatively low-recycled content,” the study said.

The study used India-specific data and the LCA tool across a ‘cradle to grave’ cycle of substrates, including raw material extraction, the manufacture of primary and secondary packaging materials, transportation between the different stages in the value chain, as well looking at the end-of-life aspects of the different packaging types.

Vibha Dhawan, director general, TERI, said: “This study has been carried out at a time when there is growing environmental consciousness among Indian consumers and significant policy thrust by the Indian government towards promotion of circularity across various sectors.”

–Ajit Weekly News

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