Mapping of main research lines concerning life cycle studies on packaging systems in Brazil and in the world

  • Murillo Vetroni BarrosEmail author
  • Rodrigo Salvador
  • Cassiano Moro Piekarski
  • Antonio Carlos de Francisco



This article aims to conduct a systematic literature review on the life cycle assessment of packaging in the world and in Brazil. Packaging plays an important role in the preservation and protection of products, and it is an issue of concern all over the world. Many environmental concerns lie on packaging, and life cycle assessment (LCA) is said to be the most comprehensive and complete tool for assessing environmental profiles.


The Methodi Ordinatio was used to assist identifying high impact research. The EndNote software was used for reference management and the VOSviewer for clustering terms and authors. The main research themes, institutions, authors, software tools used for impact assessment, and journals were identified in order to draw on the main aspects of the referred body of literature and present an insight on its trends.

Results and discussion

The line of study has not shown many solid patterns concerning either global or Brazilian research on LCA of packaging, so far. Nevertheless, most research has been dedicated to the food and beverage industries and European countries are leading this theme’s development. Research history shows that recycling has comprised one of the first concerns, whereas the search for alternative materials and end-of-life routes play an important role in the present and future of LCA of packaging. Brazil is the most prominent developing country in this field, featuring among the main contributors to the theme globally.


There is evidence that the referred body of literature has been increasingly receiving contributions both globally and in Brazil. However, it is not sufficient to state that there are solidly established either drifts or trends, as many research features change over time. The joint interest of public and private sectors can boost this study’s theme’s development and unveil novel alternatives for reducing environmental impacts of packaging systems.


LCA Life cycle assessment Package Packaging Review Sustainability 



The authors would like to thank the Editor of the International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment and the reviewers for efficient handling and valuable comments improving this research on earlier versions of the paper.

Funding information

This research was financially supported by the Coordination of Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES) and the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sustainable Production Systems Laboratory (LESP)Federal University of Technology-Parana (UTFPR)Ponta GrossaBrazil
  2. 2.Sustainable Production Systems Laboratory (LESP), Department of Production EngineeringFederal University of Technology-Parana (UTFPR)Ponta GrossaBrazil

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