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Life-Cycle Assessment of Food-Packaging Systems

  • Giuseppe VignaliEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Environmental Footprints and Eco-design of Products and Processes book series (EFEPP)

Abstract

Food packaging plays a fundamental role in today’s society because it protects food from external sources of contamination and preserves food properties during the entire assigned shelf life. Due to this fundamental role, its use is increasingly widespread including emerging or underdeveloped countries. The global amount of packaging materials manufactured and disposed of every day has led many researchers to deal with the issue of their environmental impact. Several studies have been performed starting from 1990 to the present that have been aimed at demonstrating the best type of use of and end of life for each type of food-packaging material. In recent years, some studies have also demonstrated how the extension of the food shelf life by means of improved packaging could decrease the environmental impact of an entire packaged food based mainly on the reduction of the associated food waste. Based on these premises, this chapter aims at reviewing the main articles in the field of environmental assessment of food packaging by means of a life-cycle assessment approach and showing how, during the last two decades, this issue has received increasing attention. The review was performed by analysing 172 scientific papers collected from the Scopus database using specific keywords and refining the results based on a detailed analysis of the content of each article. The results show how interest in this topic has grown consistently during the last 25 years and indicates several research lines available for further studies in this field.

Keywords

Food packaging LCA Environmental impact Food waste Review Packaging systems 

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© Springer Science+Business Media Singapore 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Industrial EngineeringUniversity of ParmaParmaItaly

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