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Recycling

An Introduction to Life-Cycle Assessment for Packaging

An expert presentation on Life-Cycle Assessments for Packaging: What You Need to Know proved as fascinating as it was informative.

One of the most common phrases associated with the ever-rising tide of sustainable packaging is LCA, an acronym I’ve had a passing familiarity with for a while. That includes knowing with certainty that the A does not stand for Analysis; the correct phrase is Life-Cycle Assessment. I didn’t want to be viewed as a sustainable greenhorn so to speak so that was my first learning on the topic back in the early 2000s.

In short, LCA is the determination of a package’s impact on the environment throughout its lifetime from start to finish. That data permits a robust amount of possibilities and virtual options for the packaging. A positive side effect is that it serves as a science-based method to avoid unintended greenwashing. At best unethical, greenwashing may be considered illegal.

Thus it was primarily for self-edification that I attended a session on “Lifecycle Assessments for Packaging: What You Need to Know” presented by Prashant Jagtap, president of Trayak, at the recent  Virtual Engineering Week, which was managed by this publication's parent company, Informa.

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