Data continues to highlight low carbon benefits of beverage cartons
ACE, The Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment, and its members strongly believe in the value of life cycle analysis (LCA) as a tool to assess the environmental performance of products, but not only as a foundation for improvement. We strongly believe that LCA’s should be the basis for any meaningful comparison between products with similar functionality, and the basis for sound policymaking.
As a result of our members’ continuous efforts to improve their environmental performance, recently updated data shows improved impact on the following indicators:
- The GWP (global warming potential) indicator for the liquid packaging board used to produce beverage cartons shows a 27% improvement compared to the previous data (2009/11), both due to reduced fossil energy use and decreased emissions in the liquid packaging board supply chain.
- The advancements in the converting process enhanced energy and resource efficiency, which led to a 20% reduction of GWP compared to 2009.
- Relevant improvements of between 15% and 35% are also shown for other impact categories such as acidification, terrestrial and aquatic eutrophication or particulate matter.
- A reduction of 30% reduction was achieved with regards to primary energy demand from non-renewable resources.
“Based on the methodology used for this updated data set, beverage cartons once again have shown the ability to have a much lower carbon footprint compared to alternative packaging solutions,” said Annick Carpentier, Director General of ACE. “This data underscores the industry’s progress towards reaching our vision outlined in our recently launched 2030 Roadmap of delivering packaging that is the lowest carbon solution available.”
In addition, ACE recently commissioned a meta study to condense the findings from LCA studies that have been conducted in the recent years, which show beverage cartons have the lowest carbon footprint in the core categories of milk and juice. You can find this report on our website.
The datasets have been updated by the German independent ifeu institute. The data will be available for use in the ecoinvent and ELCD/PEF data bases, and for ISO 14040 applications (i.e. ISO 14067 (CFP). Data can also be obtained on request from ACE.
ACE – The Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment – provides a European platform for beverage carton manufacturers and their paperboard suppliers to benchmark and profile beverage cartons as a safe, circular, and sustainable packaging solution with low carbon benefits.
ACE members include beverage carton producers Tetra Pak, SIG Combibloc, and Elopak. They develop, manufacture, and market safe, circular, and sustainable systems for the packaging and distribution of food and beverages, and produce packaging material at 20 plants in Europe. Around 98% of the paperboard used by ACE members to produce beverage cartons in Europe is produced by Stora Enso in Skoghall (Sweden) and Imatra (Finland), and BillerudKorsnäs in Gävle and Frövi (Sweden), who are also members of ACE.
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