Carbon Footprint of Beverage Packaging in the United Kingdom
The food and drinks sector is the major user of packaging in the UK, accounting for 70% of the total. With the consumption of packaging in the UK estimated at over ten million tonnes, the life cycle environmental impacts of packaging could be significant. This work focuses on drinks packaging and estimates the carbon footprint of packaging used for five types of beverage in the UK: fruit juice, water, milk, beer and wine. The types of packaging considered are: carton; glass, PET and HDPE bottles; and aluminium and steel cans. The results show that the carton packaging has the lowest carbon footprint ranging from 90-111kg CO2e/1000 litres of beverage and glass bottle the highest, from 150-761kg CO2e/1,000 litres. A significant variation has been found in the carbon footprint for the same type of packaging material, mainly influenced by the size and weight of the containers and the recycling rates. The manufacture of raw materials and the packaging are the main hot spots for all packaging.
KeywordsCarbon Footprint Energy Recovery HDPE Bottle Life Cycle Environmental Impact Lower Carbon Footprint
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