Life Cycle Assessments for Beverage Packaging

Life cycle assessments serve to precisely analyze the environmental impact of products during their life cycle, from raw material extraction to production and use, all the way to disposal and recycling. With a view to beverage packaging, the one-way deposit was introduced in 2003 and, with it, the distinction between “ecologically beneficial” or “not ecologically beneficial”. The basis was, at that time, life cycle assessments by the German Federal Environment Agency (Umweltbundesamt, or UBA). Since then, the beverage market has changed considerably on the producer and consumer side as well as in the distribution structures, circulation figures and recycling quotas.

In order to ensure traceability of the changes in the beverage packaging sector and to achieve a comparability of the corresponding life cycle assessments for beverage packaging, the UBA has in the meantime carried out an investigation which concluded with the report ”Assessment and Updating of Life Cycle Assessments for Beverage Packaging”. This report includes minimum requirements and quality criteria for a standardized and transparent approach to the preparation of life cycle assessments.

In the context of changing structures in the beverage market, voluntary initiatives have also developed in the meantime. The commitment of trade and industry to the voluntary labeling of used disposable beverage packaging is an example of this.

The AVU tracks and deals with the issue of life cycle assessment for beverage packaging in its own task force.

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