Comparative LCA of single-use and reusable tableware
The comparative Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of reusable and single-use tableware, commissioned by Pro.mo, examines the environmental impact of various types of tableware, including reusable glass and ceramic ones and single-use plastic tableware, both the traditional (polypropylene and polystyrene) and the compostable types (polylactic acid and cellulose pulp) along their entire life cycle, not just at the final disposal stage, when the products have become waste materials..
The comparative LCA was performed with the technical support of consulting company QuotaSetteand subjected to critical review by SGS, a leader in the field of certification services, which carried out the process of certification for conformity to standards UNI EN ISO 14044, 14040 and ISO/TS 14071.
Reusable glass and ceramic tableware was seen to have the lowest impact levels, but these products have undeniable safety problems and their use in public events is subject to more and more stringent restrictions and prohibitions.
Surprising but true: on average, the impact on the environment of plastic tableware in polypropylene and polystyrene – during its entire lifecycle – is lower than that of compostable tableware made of PLA and cellulose pulp.
Platesresults of the life cycle impact assessment based on the end-of-life target scenario
Functional unit: 1000 uses of the tableware containing a full meal.
Cups: results of the life cycle impact assessment based on the end-of-life target scenario Functional unit: 1000 uses of the tableware containing 200 ml of beverage.