LCA comparison of the single-use takeaway packaging using PP, paper, and PLA materials

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Shuangqi Wu , Meihan Liu, Yajing Ma , Minghao Liu


The waste of resources and environmental pollution caused by the expanding scale of the take-out market has received widespread attention. In this paper, through the whole life cycle evaluation of typical take-out packaging with different materials of individual plastic lunch boxes and plastic bags, it was found that the carbon emissions of PP, paper, and PLA take-out packaging were mainly from the disposal stage, the assembly, and transportation stage, and the production stage, which were 0.034, 0.026, and 0.044 kg CO2 eq. respectively. In addition, for paper and PLA take-out packaging, the biological carbon sequestration process in production showed a significant emission reduction effect. On this basis, the annual carbon emissions of take-out packaging in China were estimated to be about 230 million kgCO2, and if replaced with PLA lunch boxes and paper bag take-out packaging, the CO2 emissions could be reduced by about 74%. At the same time, the carbon emissions of paper take-out packaging were significantly reduced when a more environmentally friendly disposal method was chosen, and the carbon emissions of PLA and PP take-out packaging can be reduced accordingly. The results show that replacing biomass packaging materials with more environmentally friendly ones, improving the efficiency of biomass packaging production processes, and choosing more environmentally friendly disposal methods are effective ways to reduce carbon emissions from take-out packaging.

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