Green Packaging Ecological Assessment Technology

Eco-evaluation of packaging is both an imperative for the situation and a need for sustainable development of production. It is also a necessary condition for international trade. The ISO1400 international standard expressly stipulates that all international products (packaging) are subject to environmental certification (EA) and ecological assessment (LCA) and the use of environmental labeling (EL), which is similar to ISO9000 quality management, thus showing that LCA is important. In summary, the purpose of ecological assessment: First, it is used to evaluate the environmental sustainability. The so-called environmental tolerance is linked to the same set of production, processing and human activities. It is characterized by determining the amount or amount of energy and materials used to release the amount of waste and materials released into the environment, and the amount of waste released into the environment; the second is to evaluate the material and energy consumed by the product (packaging) and The extent to which the waste released into the environment affects the environment; the third is to identify and value opportunities that affect environmental development. These assessments cover all the ecological cycle processes from extraction and extraction of raw materials, separation and processing, production or manufacturing, storage and transportation, product configuration, use, reuse, recycling and final disposal.

I. Technical framework for ecological assessment

Ecological Cycle Assessment (LCA) is also called Life Cycle Assessment. At present, the technical assessment framework for product (packaging) generally adopts the "SETAC triangle" proposed by SETA and the "LCA quadrilateral" proposed by ISO. Both of them identify the target and the research scope as the center, and the other three sides represent the main three aspects of the research. , that is, data collection and analysis, impact on environmental assessment, and improvement of environmental assessment (according to English acronym 3I).

The heart of the LCA assessment framework is to determine goals and scope of research because of the purpose of research and research

Second, determine the target range

The first step in evaluating the ecological cycle of a product (packaging) is to determine the objectives and scope of the study and the contents of the packaging; determine the purpose of the study, define the scope of the study, and establish a work process to ensure the quality of the study. In addition, data information used for data analysis, environmental impact assessment, and environmental improvement assessment should also be clearly defined when determining goals and scope of research.

Determine the purpose of the study is to clarify the reasons and research objectives for a certain product packaging ecological cycle assessment, and whether the results of the assessment can be used by manufacturers or packaging companies to improve the relevant environment or reduce the degree of pollution of the natural environment and improve Environmental social measures. The research scope includes the identification of the research system, the determination of the necessary data for the system boundary, the related assumptions, and the limitations of the study. The scope of research should ensure that sufficient information is available to ensure the breadth and depth of the analysis and achieve the above-mentioned research purposes, in addition to the limitations of geographical areas (such as local, national, regional or global) and time. In addition, at the beginning of the ecological cycle assessment, the reliability of the data, that is, the data quality, must be clarified.

Third, data collection and analysis

In the ecological cycle assessment of ecological packaging, we collect detailed data based on input (such as materials) and output (such as product and exhaust gas, waste water, and waste). If possible, these data should be obtained from the company, as well as from the other five aspects: 1 production designers; 2 project budgets; 3 estimates based on similar companies; 4 databases and publications; 5 market conditions for product use, etc., collected, and pay attention to data The source of the data, the quality of the data should be consistent with the purpose and requirements of the ecological cycle data (LCI), the data should appear in a standardized format. After data collection, analysis of data variability, data uncertainty, and sensitivity should be performed. All the ecological cycle data LCI have data variability, data uncertainty and data mutation. These problems should be paid attention to in the evaluation study. Do not easily omit the relevant data during data processing. The calculation of energy generation and conversion in the data should be carried out according to relevant standards, and attention should be paid to the consideration and emphasis of different packaging raw materials.

Fourth, the impact of environmental assessment

The environmental impact (or damage) assessment (LCA) of ecological packaging is a technically quantitative and qualitative qualitative assessment process that assesses the impact or damage to the environmental sustainability of each part of the data elements identified. When analysing the impact of environmental impact or its damage, pay attention to different pollutant emissions, such as gaseous emissions (NO2, SO2, or CO2, etc.), solid emissions (dust, foam, or waste residues, etc.) liquid emissions (wastewater Trace metals, their oxides, etc., have different levels of environmental damage or contamination. How to consider the weighting coefficient or weight of the same material on the environment or damage, and the standard of unified measurement and comparison with each other, is an area that needs to be studied. In addition, with the international circulation of goods, how to evaluate the impact of the packaging materials produced in different countries on the environment or the degree of damage, especially to determine the mutual comparison of results between different countries, this needs to be further research in the future.

V. Environmental Improvement Assessment

Ecological Cycle Assessment The last and most important step in the LCA is the environmental improvement assessment. Its purpose is to seek ways and means to reduce or eliminate the environmental impact or damage (burden) of the ecological packaging system. Different from environmental analysis and data analysis, the assessment in this area has not yet risen to the methodological study. However, the environmental improvement assessment of the ecological cycle assessment system is already underway. In a nutshell, the environmental improvement assessment is to evaluate and optimize the environment for the improvement of the manufacturer's environment and the improvement of the social environment.

As an example of environmental improvement assessment, we cited TM Rothgeb et al.'s findings on HdpE food packaging bags. The energy consumption and environmental burden of 10,000 high-density polyethylene food bags (l.8L) are given in the study: In the processing stage of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) materials, the energy consumption, air pollution and water pollution are the greatest. Therefore, in order to reduce the environmental load value of HDPE food packaging in its ecological cycle (life cycle) LC, it is necessary to try to use alternative technologies or alternative materials in its processing stage to significantly reduce energy consumption and environmental burden. Rothgeb also gave a comparison of the energy consumption and environmental burden of 10,000 capacity paper bags with a capacity of 1.8L. Obviously, the energy consumption and environmental burden (environmental damage) of paper products is much smaller than that of PE bags. Solid, liquid, The ratio of gas wastes is 0.8/8.0, 4.7/8.6, 25.3/77.8 respectively.

In summary, the rise of the ecological packaging system project is the inevitable result of the green revolution. Among them, the important LCA assessment is also a test of packaging design. Its ultimate goal is: 1. To provide various types of human packaging production activities and ecological environment. Possible interactions with each other; 2. Reducing the impact or damage of human packaging production activities on the natural environment; 3. Providing packaging companies with environmental impact and sustainable development, information and decision-making programs; 4. Providing packaging materials development and packaging The direction of waste disposal aims to transform packaging production activities from a single project to system engineering, and ultimately achieve the purpose of maintaining ecological balance, protecting the natural environment, benefiting human health, and facilitating the sustainable development of society.

(Wang Min)

Source: Shanghai Packaging

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