Green Connotation and Evaluation Methods (2)

Green Packaging Scientific Evaluation Method

The above connotation of green packaging makes the packaging compatible with the environment and does not cause pollution to the environment. This property is called the environmental performance of green packaging. The method for scientifically evaluating the environmental performance of green packaging is the inclusion of the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) method in the IS014000 series of international environmental management standards. IS014000 makes it clear that all international trade products must undergo environmental certification (EA) and life cycle assessment (LCA) and use the environmental label (EL).

The definition of life cycle assessment is: according to a certain target requirement (reducing environmental pollution or saving resource consumption), the entire life cycle of a product is the extraction of raw materials, production, processing, transportation, sales, use, disposal, recycling, and finally processing. In the whole process, quantitative comparisons are mainly used to analyze the product's environmental performance. The so-called quantitative calculation refers to the environmental performance of the product, that is, the “environmental load” (or the total environmental impact potential) indicator for the ecological damage caused by the consumption of resources and emissions during the entire life cycle and the pollution caused to the environment. To represent. The larger the index, the worse the environmental performance of the product (green performance).

The life cycle assessment and technical framework consists of four parts:

1. First define the goals and scope of the study. Clearly define the research object and purpose, define the scope of the study, artificially define the boundary of production and product research, and establish a unified functional unit of the product system to facilitate the comparison of product environmental performance.

2. Inventory analysis. The inventory analysis is the beginning of the quantitative analysis of LCA. Inventory analysis (LCl) is a quantitative assessment of the environmental impacts (pollution emissions or resource consumption) of the product at various stages of its life cycle, and lists the data.

The steps of inventory analysis are: 1 establish product system model, draw product life cycle flow chart; 2 unit process in subdivided flow; 3 collect input and output data of product system, ie resource consumption and pollution discharge data; 4 perform data distribution, If a process produces two products at the same time, its input and output data can be distributed according to the weight of the product.

3. Impact assessment. This is the most complex and difficult step in LCA's quantitative calculations. The Impact Assessment (LCIA) evaluates the environmental impact of the various input and output data listed in the inventory analysis.

The steps are as follows: 1 Firstly, the environmental impact types are classified into environmental impacts, which usually refer to the environmental issues that affect human health, ecological health, and resource consumption. Each aspect includes some types of environmental impact, such as global warming, ozone layer destruction, acid rain, photochemical smog, and eutrophication of water bodies under ecological health; central nervous system effects, reproductive system effects, and respiratory effects under human health Problems such as environmental impact types such as carcinogenic effects. 2 Characterization is the summarization of the influence degree of each impact factor of the same environmental impact type. Usually, one of the influence factors is selected as a reference, and the influence degree of other influence factors is quantified into the same unit with respect to the influence coefficient of the other influence factors, and then is summarized. 3 Quantitative assessment of the total environmental impact potential for different types of environmental impacts needs to be quantitatively evaluated. The method is to determine the relative size or weight of different types of environmental impact on the environment. For example, Yang Jianxin et al. calculated the weight coefficients of three types of environmental impacts in China: global warming, acid rain, and eutrophication using the target distance method. For 0.82, 0.73, and 0.74, the total environmental impact potential can then be calculated.

4. Interpretation of results (or improvement evaluation). That is, the results of inventory analysis and impact assessment are interpreted and analyzed, and suggestions for improvement are proposed. The steps are identification, assessment, conclusions and recommendations. For the improved program, it is also necessary to perform LCA evaluation again, which is called improvement evaluation.

The use of the life cycle assessment method described above to evaluate the environmental performance of a packaged product has the following advantages:

(1) The life cycle assessment method considers the resource consumption and pollution emissions in the entire life cycle of the product, and avoids the shortcomings of the one-sidedness and limitation of the evaluation of the environmental performance of products in the past. Therefore, it is a scientific method to comprehensively and systematically evaluate the environmental performance of products.

(2) A major feature of the LCA method is the quantitative comparison. The quantified “environmental load” indicator is used to represent the environmental performance of the product throughout its life cycle. It has the advantages of numerical value and intuitiveness, and it avoids the qualitative evaluation of products with expert experience. The arbitrariness and incomparability of environmental performance.

(3) Due to the above advantages, the environmental performance of green packaging evaluated by the LCA method has the advantages of comprehensiveness, quantification, and intuitiveness. Therefore, the LCA method can be used to formulate certification standards for product environment labels, or to use its data as a digital environment to declare all of EDs. content.

However, the life cycle assessment method currently has the following shortcomings in actual operations:

(1) For LCA, from the "cradle to the grave", the calculation operation is a complicated and cumbersome work, and the workload and difficulty are large.

(2) The central part of the LCA - the data collection of the inventory analysis is difficult. China's industrial enterprises have not collected data on the consumption of resources and pollution emissions of products during the production and processing stages, and there is no inventory analysis established by some foreign companies and research institutes. database. Due to the very different conditions, the data of the foreign inventory database cannot be used by me. Therefore, the current LCA can only use the data provided in the data and reports. However, the simulation data obtained through the company's monitoring, sampling, and measurement or through simulation of the industrial production process are nearly empty, so the inventory analysis is accurate. Degree difference. This is also the most important issue that must be resolved as soon as possible when China starts LCA work.

(3) LCA impact assessment requires the determination of various equivalence factors and weights, as well as the fact that the various types of quantities such as biological, chemical, physical, and environmental quantities are also very difficult to translate. At present, many industrialized countries have carried out a lot of research work on the equivalence coefficients of different types of environmental impact and have achieved a lot of results; the weights are calculated using the AHP target lease distance method. Due to the model error, the accuracy of the weight calculation is affected and the calculation is more difficult.

Due to the above problems in LCA and the conditions for LCA development in China, it is not yet fully available. Therefore, it is not appropriate to use the LCA method to evaluate the environmental performance of green packaging in general. Therefore, the evaluation criteria for green packaging cannot be determined.


Source: Packaging News

(Author / Dai Hongmin Dai Peihua, Chongqing Technology and Business University)

Petri Dish

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