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Aluminium cans have superior environmental performance over glass, PET, multi-layer containers: Study

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New Delhi, Jun 14 (PTI) Aluminium cans support a fully circular economy and have superior environmental performance over glass, PET and multi-layer drinks containers, according to a study conducted by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI).

The Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) study compared the environmental sustainability of aluminium cans, glass bottles, PET bottles and multi-layer packaging (MLP).

The packages were studied against 18 environmental impact categories, including global warming potential (GWP), water consumption, acidification and material circularity.

The study assessed 250 ml and 500 ml aluminium cans; 200 ml, 600 ml and 750 ml PET bottles; 200 ml, 330 ml and 650 ml glass bottles; and 200 ml MLP cartons.

In its 500 ml form, aluminium cans, already the world’s most recycled drinks container, averaging 69 per cent globally and 85 per cent in India, performed best in multiple impact categories, in particular because of its recyclability, high recycled content and light weight.

The 200 ml MLP cartons came a close second with regard to GWP, followed by the 600 ml PET bottles.

The single-use glass bottles did not perform well across several impact categories due to their high energy intensive manufacturing and relatively low-recycled content.

The study commissioned by Ball Beverage Packaging, India, was presented to Union Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav on Monday.

Dr Vibha Dhawan, Director General, TERI said, “This study has been carried out at a time when there is growing environmental consciousness among Indian consumers and significant policy thrust by the Indian government towards promotion of circularity across various sectors.” She pointed out that India has already drafted a national resource efficiency policy that identified the imperative of achieving complete circularity in sectors, including aluminium.

“This LCA report will significantly contribute towards the ambitious initiative of the circular economy mission of the government, thereby helping them in making sound decisions towards strengthening resource efficiency in the beverage packaging sector in India,” she added.

Souvik Bhattacharjya, Associate Director, TERI, who led the study said, “The environmental assessment across various beverage packaging substrates reveal that aluminium has a relative advantage on quite a few environmental parameters. MLPs are light for transport but they’re complex in structure, making them difficult to recycle.” Bhattacharjya said the study intends to inform stakeholders along the production consumption chain about making the right choices, to reduce environmental impacts, and support a circular economy. PTI GVS RHL

This report is auto-generated from PTI news service. ThePrint holds no responsibility for its content.

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