A resource efficient package is defined as a packaging solution which is combining the minimized use of material and energy throughout its lifecycle with the minimized amount of material losses.
To assist this definition, a three-metric model was proposed to assess the resource efficiency of packaging:
- Accumulated Energy Demand throughout the lifecycle;
- Accumulated Raw Material Demand throughout the lifecycle;
- Waste to final disposal.
As an example, when apply the model to a laminated flexible pouch for 460ml long-life pasta sauce. When compare to three alternative non-flexible packaging solutions: a glass jar, a tin can and a plastic pot. The results reveal that the foil pouch solution was more resource efficient in all three metrics than the other three solutions.
It was assumed that the pouch had a zero recycling rate as a worst-case scenario. Indeed, recycling solutions for flexible packaging already exist and will be further developed. This would lead to even more resource efficiency.
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