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LCA Case Study on Printed Matter

  • Henrik Fred LarsenEmail author
Chapter
Part of the The Handbook of Environmental Chemistry book series (HEC, volume 23)

Abstract

Previous product life cycle assessments (LCAs) on offset printed matter all point at paper as the overall dominating contributor to the impacts from the life cycle of this product category. The dominating role of paper is primarily founded in the energy-related impact categories: global warming, acidification and eutrophication. These former studies focus on impacts related to energy and the chemical-related impact categories, comprising ecotoxicity and human toxicity, are not included at all or only to a limited degree. In this chapter we present a newer case study that includes these chemical-related impact categories by making use of knowledge about emissions from the printing industry combined with knowledge about the composition of the printing materials used during the production of offset printed matter. The results show that the relative importance of the paper-related energy consumption is significantly reduced when chemical emissions combined with toxicity-related impact categories are included in the impact assessment. By including results from a survey on the presence of hazardous chemicals in the Danish printing industry, some of the potential additives/impurities that may appear in the recycled paper are identified.

Keywords

Additives Chemicals Impurities Life cycle assessment (LCA) Paper Printing industry Recycling 

Abbreviations and Symbols

AOX

Adsorbable organic halides

APE

Alkylphenol ethoxylates

BPA

Bisphenol A

CMR

Carcinogenic, mutagenic and reprotoxic

COD

Chemical oxygen demand

DTU

Technical University of Denmark

ECHA

European Chemicals Agency

EDS

Endocrine-disrupting substances

eqv

Equivalents

EU

European Union

FP7

EU Seventh Framework Programme

ILCD

The International Reference Life Cycle Data System

LAS

Linear alkyl benzene sulphonates

LCA

Life cycle assessment

LCI

Life cycle inventory

LCIA

Life cycle impact assessment

MSDS

Material safety data sheets

NMVOC

Non-methane volatile organic compounds

NPE

Nonylphenol ethoxylates

PBT

Persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic

PE

Person-equivalents

PET

Person-equivalents targeted

REACH

Registration Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals

SVHC

Substances of very high concern

TOC

Total organic carbon

VOC

Volatile organic carbon

vPvB

Very persistent and very bioaccumulative

WWTP

Wastewater treatment plant

Notes

Acknowledgement

Being part of the coordination action “RISKCYCLE” (Risk-based management of chemicals and products in a circular economy at a global scale), this study is partly funded by the 7th Framework Programme of the European Community (grant agreement no. FP7–226552). The two main projects included, i.e. the case study on offset printed matter and the substitution project, were financed by the Danish Environmental Protection Agency supplemented by in-kind contributions from the industry partners.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Research and DevelopmentHedehuseneDenmark

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