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Environmental Impacts of Packaging Materials

  • VarunEmail author
  • Aashish Sharma
  • Himanshu Nautiyal
Chapter
Part of the Environmental Footprints and Eco-design of Products and Processes book series (EFEPP)

Abstract

When humankind began to store food or other items for next-day use, packaging in its primitive form emerged. In ancient times, leaves and bushes were used. By using high-end lightweight, durable, and cheaper material, today’s packing industry has evolved exponentially. The industry is continuously searching for packaging solutions that have better strength, are easier to handle, are hygienic, are lightweight, and, most importantly, are sustainable. The major packaging materials are plastic, polystyrene, cardboard, etc. All of these materials are low in cost, light in weight, and durable. The world’s growing population has led to large amount of packaging waste, which further contributes to the problem of its disposal and other environmental issues. High-energy consumption (embodied) and environmental problems are associated with packaging materials, which underscores the need to regard the proper use of packaging materials from an environment point of view. To analyse and quantify the environmental impacts associated with various packaging materials, an effective methodology is required. Life-cycle assessment (LCA) is an effective tool that can be utilised to evaluate various environmental impacts of packaging materials. This chapter discusses the environmental impacts associated with packaging materials and the use of LCA to evaluate these impacts so that they can be reduced considerably.

Keywords

Environmental impacts Packaging Sustainability LCA 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Singapore 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Mechanical EngineeringNational Institute of TechnologyHamirpurIndia
  2. 2.Department of Mechanical EngineeringLovely Professional UniversityPhagwaraIndia
  3. 3.THDC Institute of Hydropower Engineering and TechnologyBhagirathipuram, TehriIndia

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