The goal of this study was to conduct a life Cycle Inventory (Lei) analysis based comparison of eleven primary container and pillow wrap combinations for the distribution of fresh strawberries Three of the primary containers studied were paper based (molded pulp, paperboard and corrugated fiberboard) and three other containers investigated were clamshells or punnets made of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and recycled PET (rPET) Pillow wraps made of rPET and polylactlde (PLA) were also Included for all punnet/tray style containers The scope of the study ranged from the extraction of raw materials, their processing and formation for all packaging components, product filling and distribution followed by their end-of-life scenarios The scope includes energy Inputs/credits and greenhouses gases In CO2 equivalents followed by the end-of-life disposal The functional unit selected was 0.45 kg of packaged strawberries delivered to Institutional customers (on-site users) and retailers within 402 kilometers from the processing and packing plant with a minimum of one week of shelf life at delivery When compared to the traditional PET clamshell style containers, the ten alternative packaging systems provide better energy usage/credit and GHG results Molded pulp trays outperformed all alternates studied in this regard, while the paperboard and corrugated fiberboard systems provide very practical and environmentally feasible alternatives. Scenario I for the end-of life, which reflects a close approximation of the MSW treatment rates III the US, the paperboard and corrugated fiberboard based systems had a 3---4% and 12-17% Improved performance towards tile energy usage/credit and GHG emissions respectively


Industrial Technology



URL: http://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/it_fac/58