LCA — How it came about
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This article is the personal reflections of the authors on the 25-year history of LCA in the U.S.A. The original study was commissioned by The Coca-Cola Company in 1969. While most LCAs in the U.S. have been confidential studies for private companies, important public studies are described. In the early years, the LCAs were generally commissioned by clients who were interested primarily in the solid waste aspects of total manufacturing and use systems, especially for packaging products. The energy and other environmental information was just a “bonus.” In about 1975, the interest turned to energy. In 1988, the primary interest returned to solid waste, but was quickly replaced by a more balanced concern about the broad areas of resource use and environmental emissions. This broader interest has sparked the current debates in impact assessment.
Key wordsLife cycle analysis life cycle assessment life cycle inventories environment energy natural resources energy pollution solid waste
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