07. November 2018 | Packaging materials & packs

66 percent lower environmental impact confirmed

An ISO-conformant lifecycle assessment (LCA) by the Institut für Energie und Umweltforschung (Institute for Energy and Environmental Research; IFEU) in Heidelberg, Germany, confirmed that the “SIGnature Pack” from SIG shows significant reductions in environmental impacts. The LCA is said to be the world’s first for a mass balance product.

The “SIGnature Pack” is an aseptic carton pack linked to 100 percent plant-based materials. The LCA confirmed reductions in environmental impacts across all ten categories as a result of the substitution of fossil-based polymers with mass balance plant-based polymers made from tall oil. This oil is a by-product of paper manufacturing.

Better performance than similar packs

According to the Europe-wide LCA, the carbon footprint of the package is – on average across Europe – 66 percent lower than the carbon footprint of a standard SIG 1-litre carton pack of the same format across its lifecycle.

This LCA is said to be the first ISO-conformant one to take into account the inclusion of materials via a mass balance system. LCAs are traditionally based on the physical contents of a product and the environmental impacts associated with each stage of its production.

Driving more sustainable plastics

The manufacturer reportedly chose a mass balance approach because it supports a wider transition from fossil to bio-based raw materials within the conventional and highly efficient polymer industry. “The implementation of polymers based on tall oil via a mass balance system is recommended,” says Frank Wellenreuther, Project Manager at IFEU. “The demand for mass balance polymers from SIG could act as a driver to achieve a more significant physical share of plant-based input materials for the production of polymers.”

edited by Christiane Lingrön

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