Estimation of the energy needs in life cycle analysis of one-way and returnable glass packaging
Article first published online: 15 FEB 2000
Copyright © 1999 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Packaging Technology and Science
Volume 12, Issue 5, pages 235–239, September/October 1999
How to Cite
Van Doorsselaer, K. and Lox, F. (1999), Estimation of the energy needs in life cycle analysis of one-way and returnable glass packaging. Packag. Technol. Sci., 12: 235–239. doi: 10.1002/(SICI)1099-1522(199909/10)12:5<235::AID-PTS474>3.0.CO;2-W
- Issue published online: 15 FEB 2000
- Article first published online: 15 FEB 2000
- Manuscript Accepted: 23 SEP 1999
- Manuscript Received: 10 AUG 1999
- returnable packaging;
- break-even point;
- breakage rate;
The current position on the environmental advantages offered by returnable versus one-way glass packages is discussed. The energy needs of both options are considered as important parameters. A critical concept in the published LCA studies is the breakage rate, which serves to estimate the number (n) of returns that a functional unit of bottles can perform. Normally the energy of production of the glass (E) is divided by n. The authors consider this concept too theoretical and for long-term situations demonstrate that, in all LCA calculations, an energy value equal to 2E/n should be used. This value is useful in calculating the break-even point. The paper summarizes the effect of different breakage rates and distribution distances on the break-even point. It is clear that, for breakage rates below 5%, returnable glass bottles remain competitive and advantageous, even for quite long distribution distances. The methology proposed should be applicable to other materials. Copyright © 1999 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.