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LCA of PLA cheese packaging materials

The aim of the life cycle analysis (LCA) was to quantify and evaluate the total environmental load of the life cycle (production-use-disposal) of the Biopack cheese packaging and comparing it with a traditional cheese packaging. The chosen functional unit is one packaging for sliced, semi-hard cheeses.

The life cycle inventory consisted of the following steps:
- Conversion of whey to lactic acid;
- Conversion of lactic acid to PLA;
- Waste options for PLA.

The following recommendations can result in a lower environmental load (of the life cycle of the packaging):
- Using gas as energy source for the production phase;
- Building the production unit of lactic acid close to the whey production site, i.e. the cheese plant;
- Promoting (thermophilic) anaerobic digestion as the preferable waste management option for the PLA packaging.

The LCA may provide input to databases used for life cycle inventories.

Reported by

Dok Noord 4
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