Packaging - Report on criteria and methodologies for life cycle analysis of packaging

This Technical Report establishes a set of best practice guidelines for undertaking those aspects of life cycle assessment specific to packaging and distribution systems.

Verpackung - Bericht über die Kriterien und Methodik von Ökobilanzen für Verpackungen

Dieser Technische Bericht legt eine Reihe von Anleitungen für die optimale Durchführung von Ökobilanzen fest, die besonders für Verpackungs- und Verteilungssysteme von Bedeutung sind.

Emballage - Rapport sur les critères et méthodologies pour l'analyse du cycle de vie des emballages

Le présent Rapport technique établit un ensemble de lignes directrices dites de bonne pratique et applicables
aux spécificités des systèmes d’emballage et de distribution dans la conduite d’une analyse de cycle de vie.

Embalaža - Poročilo o merilih in metodologijah za analizo življenjskega cikla embalaže

To tehnično poročilo vzpostavlja sklop smernic za najboljšo prakso za  uporabo tistih vidikov ocene življenjskega cikla, ki so značilni za  sisteme embalaže in distribucije.

General Information

Status
Published
Publication Date
10-Aug-2010
Current Stage
6060 - Definitive text made available (DAV) - Publishing
Due Date
18-Aug-2010

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SLOVENSKI STANDARD
SIST-TP CEN/TR 13910:2011
01-januar-2011
1DGRPHãþD
SIST CR 13910:2002
(PEDODåD3RURþLORRPHULOLKLQPHWRGRORJLMDK]DDQDOL]RåLYOMHQMVNHJDFLNOD
HPEDODåH

Packaging - Report on criteria and methodologies for life cycle analysis of packaging

Verpackung - Bericht über die Kriterien und Methodik von Ökobilanzen für Verpackungen

Emballage - Rapport sur les critères et méthodologies pour l'analyse du cycle de vie des

emballages
Ta slovenski standard je istoveten z: CEN/TR 13910:2010
ICS:
13.020.60 Življenjski ciklusi izdelkov Product life-cycles
55.020 Pakiranje in distribucija blaga Packaging and distribution of
na splošno goods in general
SIST-TP CEN/TR 13910:2011 en,fr,de

2003-01.Slovenski inštitut za standardizacijo. Razmnoževanje celote ali delov tega standarda ni dovoljeno.

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SIST-TP CEN/TR 13910:2011
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SIST-TP CEN/TR 13910:2011
TECHNICAL REPORT
CEN/TR 13910
RAPPORT TECHNIQUE
TECHNISCHER BERICHT
August 2010
ICS 13.020.60; 55.020 Supersedes CR 13910:2000
English Version
Packaging - Report on criteria and methodologies for life cycle
analysis of packaging

Emballage - Rapport sur les critères et méthodologies pour Verpackung - Bericht über die Kriterien und Methodik von

l'analyse du cycle de vie des emballages Ökobilanzen für Verpackungen

This Technical Report was approved by CEN on 19 June 2010. It has been drawn up by the Technical Committee CEN/TC 261.

CEN members are the national standards bodies of Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia,

Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland,

Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and United Kingdom.

EUROPEAN COMMITTEE FOR STANDARDIZATION
COMITÉ EUROPÉEN DE NORMALISATION
EUROPÄISCHES KOMITEE FÜR NORMUNG
Management Centre: Avenue Marnix 17, B-1000 Brussels

© 2010 CEN All rights of exploitation in any form and by any means reserved Ref. No. CEN/TR 13910:2010: E

worldwide for CEN national Members.
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Contents Page

Foreword ..............................................................................................................................................................3

Introduction .........................................................................................................................................................4

1 Scope ......................................................................................................................................................5

2 Normative references ............................................................................................................................5

3 Terms and definitions ...........................................................................................................................5

4 Criteria and methodology for life cycle assessment of packaging ..................................................7

4.1 General ....................................................................................................................................................7

4.2 Goal and scope definition .....................................................................................................................8

4.2.1 General ....................................................................................................................................................8

4.2.2 Function, functional unit and reference flow ................................................................................... 10

4.2.3 Allocation ............................................................................................................................................. 11

4.2.4 Data Quality ......................................................................................................................................... 14

4.2.5 Boundary between packaging and the products ............................................................................ 14

4.3 Life cycle inventory analysis ............................................................................................................. 16

4.4 Life cycle impact assessment ........................................................................................................... 16

4.4.1 General ................................................................................................................................................. 16

4.4.2 Single impact category indicators .................................................................................................... 16

4.5 Life cycle interpretation ..................................................................................................................... 17

4.5.1 General ................................................................................................................................................. 17

4.5.2 Key data points, setting and assumptions ...................................................................................... 18

4.5.3 Limitations, uncertainties and significance of results.................................................................... 19

5 Presentation and communication ..................................................................................................... 20

6 Critical review ...................................................................................................................................... 20

7 Further requirements and aspects to consider ............................................................................... 20

7.1 General limitations of LCA as a tool/method ................................................................................... 20

7.2 Limitations in the context of specific areas of application of packaging LCAs .......................... 20

7.2.1 General ................................................................................................................................................. 20

7.2.2 Comparative packaging LCAs ........................................................................................................... 21

7.2.3 Packaging function and logistics ...................................................................................................... 21

Annex A (informative) Cross-references........................................................................................................ 22

Bibliography ..................................................................................................................................................... 23

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Foreword

This document (CEN/TR 13910:2010) has been prepared by Technical Committee CEN/TC 261 “Packaging”,

the secretariat of which is held by AFNOR.

Attention is drawn to the possibility that some of the elements of this document may be the subject of patent

rights. CEN [and/or CENELEC] shall not be held responsible for identifying any or all such patent rights.

This document supersedes CR 13910:2000.

This Technical Report defines and describes how to apply Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) to packaging and

distribution systems. The expression "Life Cycle Analysis", applied in the EU Packaging Directive, is in this

report considered as identical to the concept of "Life Cycle Assessment" in the EN ISO 14040 standards.

This Technical Report has been prepared by the CEN Working Group, CEN/TC 261/SC 4/WG 1/TG 1, which

has been considering the aspects of life cycle assessment specific to packaging, in order to fulfil the "Mandate

200 rev.3 to CEN for Standardisation and a study related to packaging and packaging waste", requested by

the EU Commission.
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Introduction

Packaging is an integral part of modern society providing means for protection, presentation, information and

distribution of products to industry, trade and consumers.

In 1994 the European Parliament and the European Council adopted a Directive on Packaging and Packaging

Waste, covering all types of packaging placed on the market in the European Community and all packaging

waste, whether used or released at the industrial, commercial, office, shop, service, household level or at any

other level, regardless of the material used.

The Directive aims to harmonise national measures concerning the management of packaging and packaging

waste in order to, on the one hand, prevent any impact thereof on the environment of all Member States, as

well as of third countries, or to reduce such impact, thus providing a high level of environmental protection,

and, on the other hand, to ensure the functioning of the internal market and to avoid obstacles to trade, and

the distortion and restriction of competition within the European Community. The two objectives are on an

equal footing.

Article 10 of the Directive states that the European Commission shall promote the preparation of European

standards relating to the essential requirements referred to in Annex II of the Directive and, in particular, the

preparation of European Standards relating to, among others:
 criteria and methodologies for life-cycle analysis of packaging.
The present Technical Report covers the work of CEN to meet that requirement.
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1 Scope

This Technical Report establishes a set of best practice guidelines for undertaking those aspects of life cycle

assessment specific to packaging and distribution systems.
2 Normative references

The following referenced documents are indispensable for the application of this document. For dated

references, only the edition cited applies. For undated references, the latest edition of the referenced

document (including any amendments) applies.

EN ISO 14040:2006, Environmental management — Life cycle assessment — Principles and framework

(ISO 14040:2006)

EN ISO 14044:2006, Environmental management — Life cycle assessment — Requirements and guidelines

(ISO 14044:2006)
3 Terms and definitions
For the purposes of this document, the following terms and definitions apply.

This section defines the LCA and packaging specific terms used in this report. The LCA terms are based on

definitions given in EN ISO 14040:2006, and the packaging terms are based on definitions in the European

Parliament and the Council Directive on Packaging and Packaging Waste (94/62/EC) and terms and

definitions referred to in EN 13193 unless stated otherwise.
3.1
life cycle assessment
LCA

compilation and evaluation of the inputs, outputs and the potential environmental impacts of a product system

throughout its life cycle
3.2
life cycle inventory analysis
LCI

phase of life cycle assessment involving the compilation and quantification of inputs and outputs, for a product

throughout its life cycle
3.3
life cycle impact assessment
LCIA

phase of life cycle assessment aimed at understanding and evaluating the magnitude and significance of the

potential environmental impacts for a product system throughout the life cycle of the product

3.4
life cycle interpretation

phase of life cycle assessment in which the findings of either the inventory analysis or the impact assessment,

or both, are evaluated in relation to the defined goal and scope in order to reach conclusions and

recommendations
3.5
packaging

all items made of any material of any nature to be used for the containment, protection, handling, delivery and

presentation of goods, from raw materials to processed goods, from the producer to the user or the consumer

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NOTE In this report the goods are referred to as "packaged product" or just "product", in order to distinguish it from

the packaging.
3.6
sales packaging
primary packaging

packaging conceived so as to constitute a sales unit to the final user or consumer at the point of purchase

3.7
grouped packaging
secondary packaging

packaging conceived so as to constitute at the point of purchase a grouping of a certain number of sales units

whether the latter is sold as such to the final user or consumer or whether it serves only as a means to

replenish the shelves at the point of sale
NOTE It can be removed from the product without affecting its characteristics.
3.8
transport packaging
tertiary packaging

packaging conceived so as to facilitate handling and transport of a number of sales units or grouped

packaging in order to prevent physical handling and transport damage
NOTE Transport packaging does not include road, rail, ship and air containers.
3.9
used packaging

packaging or packaging material remaining after the removal of the product it contained

3.10
distribution system

necessary physical arrangements (packing, storage, transport and merchandising) to bring a product from its

manufacturing stage, to its final stage of consumption/use
3.11
collection system

necessary physical arrangements (sorting, collecting, transport and storage) to bring used packaging from the

point of consumption to the point of reuse, recovery or final disposal
3.12
functional unit of packaging

quantified performance of a product system of packaging, for use as a reference unit in an LCA study

3.13
carbon footprint

overall amount, expressed in terms of CO equivalents, of carbon dioxide (CO ) and other greenhouse gas

2 2
(GHG) emissions associated with a product, using LCA methodology

NOTE Carbon footprint essentially coincides with the impact category that has generally been referred to under the

name "global warming potential" (GWP) in most LCAs to date. Both terms are meant as a measure of the potential

contribution to the global phenomenon of climate change, which may also include regional side-effects such as storms and

local cooling.
3.14
critical review

process intended to ensure consistency between a life cycle assessment and the principles and requirements

of the standards on life cycle assessment
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3.15
interested party

individual or group concerned with or affected by the environmental performance of a product system, or by

the results of the life cycle assessment
3.16
allocation

partitioning the input or output flows of a process or a product system between the product system under

study and one or more other product systems
4 Criteria and methodology for life cycle assessment of packaging
4.1 General

According to EN ISO 14040, an LCA shall include the following phases: definition of goal and scope, inventory

analysis, impact assessment and interpretation of results, as illustrated in Figure 1, below.

1 Life cycle assessment
framework
Goal and
scope
Direct applications:
definition
− Product
development and
improvement
− Strategic planning
Interpretation
− Public policy making
Inventory
analysis
− Marketing
− Other
Impact
assessment
Figure 1 — Phases of an LCA
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Applications
LCA can assist in:

 identifying opportunities to improve the environmental performance of products at various points in their

life cycle;

 informing decision-makers in industry, government or non-government organizations (e.g. for the purpose

of strategic planning, priority setting, product or process design or redesign);

 the selection of relevant indicators of environmental performance, including measurement techniques;

and

 marketing (e.g. implementing an ecolabelling scheme, making an environmental claim, or producing an

environmental product declaration).

It is recommended to address those or other intended applications of a dedicated packaging LCA study in the

goal and scope section.
4.2 Goal and scope definition
4.2.1 General

The goal and scope of an LCA study of packaging shall be clearly defined, documented and consistent with

the intended application. As illustrated in Figure 1 above, the goal and scope definition should be used as a

reference all through the study, and in the reporting of the results.

In defining the goal of such an LCA, the following items shall be unambiguously stated: the intended

application, the reasons for carrying out the study, the intended audience and whether the results are intended

to be used in comparative assertions intended to be disclosed to the public. In addition, the following

comments on how packaging is actually used have to be taken into account.

Packaging is always used to pack products, resulting in a strong link between the packaging and the

packaged product. Packaging is used to facilitate handling and transportation through the logistic chain, to

protect the product, prevent product losses and give relevant information. This means that all packaging items,

for example closures, labels, communicative devices (e.g. RFID) and printing inks have to be taken into

account.

Packaging is one component of a distribution system. A change of packaging will therefore often cause

changes in this system, resulting in changes in resource consumption, emissions and hence in the

environmental impact of the total system. Following the cradle-to-grave definition in EN ISO 14040:2006, LCA

studies of packaging should therefore include the distribution system, the wastage of packaging material and

products, the relevant collection systems, as well as recovery and/or disposal operations.

Primary, secondary and tertiary packaging have a direct influence upon each other's function, construction

and dimensions. They are all integral parts of the distribution system and should be included in the LCA.

In some cases, the production or use of products may be influenced by a change of packaging, which should

also be considered in an LCA study.

To assess impact categories for packaging in isolation from the packaged product and the distribution system

should therefore be avoided as the packaging system is designed to fulfil its functions in relation to the

contained product and the physical distribution system.

Most packaging only follows the packaged product through a certain part of its life cycle, hence an LCA of the

packaging system should include all the steps of the life cycle of the packaging. The life cycle of a packaging

system is illustrated in Figure 2, below.
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Natural resources
Product raw
Packaging
raw materials materials
Waste and emissions to Packaging Products
air, water and soil
Including product losses
Packaged products
attributed to packaging
performance and format
in filling, distribution and
Distribution
use
Use of products
Used packaging Used product
Recovery of Final disposal of
packaging packaging
Figure 2 — Illustration of the life cycle of a packaging system
EXAMPLE 1 Transportation system should be considered in the LCA boundaries.

The consideration here could apply to different packaging configurations within one packaging system or across different

packaging systems.

An example for the first case is when Yoghurt pots packed in strong boxes can be loaded to greater heights in a large

vehicle. Weaker boxes cannot be put on top of each other to the same extent. Hence, more transportation capacity is

needed and therefore more fuel is used per ton of products transported. An example for the second case is when the

alternative is to distribute yoghurt in glass containers or plastic containers. Again, more transportation capacity might be

needed if a glass container is used and therefore more fuel is used per ton of products transported.

Results for the overall packaging system will change with the distribution distance applied in a dedicated LCA study. Thus,

the settings of the transportation system model should also include a rationale for and documentation of the selected

distribution logistics and distances.

Furthermore, when packaging components from different raw materials are compared against each other, disadvantages

in the transportation step might be balanced by advantages in the recovery efficiency of the different materials.

Assessment of the transportation system should not be done without consideration of the overall packaging system

including end-of-life fate.
EXAMPLE 2 Primary and secondary packaging should be considered.

An LCA of yoghurt includes the comparison of primary packs from different packaging raw materials for the same yoghurt

product. In this case it is important to define the adequate weight and raw material composition of the primary packs. For

both packs this packaging definition should reflect comparable technical standards. Moreover, the compared types of

primary pack might also be associated with different settings of secondary (and tertiary) packaging. For instance if in one

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case primary packs are wrapped in a shrink foil and in the other case are assembled by using a cardboard tray, this will

influence the LCA results of the individual packaging systems and thus the comparative results. In such a case secondary

(and tertiary) packaging cannot be omitted in the LCA.
EXAMPLE 3 Packaged product loss and waste should be considered.

Different packaging configurations can lead to different levels of product damage, spoilage, loss or waste. A reduction of

transport packing for yoghurt might lead to increased product loss that more than offsets any apparent improvement from

the packaging when considered alone. Differences in product loss or waste might occur at any point in the packaging life

cycle from filling, through distribution and retail, to the point of final consumption. If the functional unit is based on

consumption of a specified amount of yogurt, then loss, spoilage or waste at the point of consumption should also be

considered. For instance an overlarge package size might result in yoghurt not being consumed before the due date or a

particular package design might make the package difficult to empty. In both cases the loss of product and its associated

life cycle impacts should be considered.

The above examples illustrate that the whole system has to be included, i.e. primary, secondary and tertiary

packaging, as well as the implications of the transport and product wastage. For packaging and distribution

systems, the choice of functional unit, definition of system boundaries and application of allocation require

special attention.
4.2.2 Function, functional unit and reference flow

According to EN ISO 14044, when defining the scope of an LCA study, a clear statement of the functions

(performance characteristics) of the product system, or in the case of comparative studies, the systems shall

be made. The functional unit enables the quantification of these identified functions. The functional unit shall

be consistent with the goal and scope of the study. The primary purpose of a functional unit is to provide a

reference to which the inputs and the outputs are normalised (in a mathematical sense). The functional unit

shall be clearly defined, measurable, and provide a reference to which the input and output data are

normalized. The choice of functional unit depends on the goal of the study. The reasons for choice of

functional unit should be carefully considered and stated.

Having defined the functional unit, the amount of packaging that is necessary to fulfil the function shall be

quantified. The result of this quantification is the reference flow.

For a packaging, the functional unit is typically expressed in units of mass of packaging materials normalised

to the unit volume/unit mass/unit activity of the packaged product. Alternatively, the functional unit may be

expressed as the number of packaging units, i.e. packs necessary to fulfil a given function. The unit activity is

based on the defined function of the system, e.g. to supply an adequate quantity to allow one litre of fresh milk

to be consumed by the end user. This example could result in a reference flow equivalent to x kg of packaging

material needed to supply 1 l of fresh milk or alternatively to the number of units of packaging.

The definition of the functional unit can be more general, e.g. the total production of one product by one

company, or the whole market for one product in a certain region if LCAs are used to optimise distribution

systems.

Furthermore, it is important to define the packaging performance, which is linked to the packaged product.

This might include: required strength of the packaging, required protection during transportation, preserving

the quality of foodstuffs, protection against light penetration, prevention of residue production, etc. Legal

requirements in relation to the packaged product (e.g. foodstuffs), and the performance of the packaging in

relation to machinery, might also be relevant to take into consideration.

The packaged product should be characterised when it is put on the market taking into account losses through

the system and those processes/transports/services necessary to deliver a given quantity of the packaged

product in a state fit for its purpose.
EXAMPLE 1 Necessary requirements for packaging.

Reviewing the yoghurt example: when conducting a life cycle inventory of packaging for yoghurt, the condition of the

yoghurt should be taken into consideration:
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 What are the preservation qualities of the yoghurt in different packaging?

 What are the requirements for the packaging? In what manner is the yoghurt prepared relative to the demands of the

packaging (e.g. sterilised yoghurt versus "live" yoghurts)?
 Does the packaging fulfil the transportation requirements?
EXAMPLE 2 At point of sale.

The delivery of 1 000 l of yoghurt to the final consumer typically does not correspond to 1 000 l of manufactured yoghurt,

owing to losses occurring during processing, packing and distribution including exceeded shelf life in the store/shop. In this

example, the delivery of 1 000 l of yoghurt may correspond to the manufacture of 1 100 l of yoghurt.

EXAMPLE 3 At point of consumption.

In other instances, it might be appropriate to characterise the functional unit at the point of use/consumption. The delivery

of 1 000 l of yoghurt typically does not correspond to 1 000 l of yoghurt consumed owing to losses occurring during use:

Some of the yoghurt is discarded because of adhesion to the packaging, some of it may have been spilt, some of it

discarded because it is too old, etc. In this example, the delivery of 1 000 litres of yoghurt may correspond to the

consumption of 800 l of yoghurt.

It should be understood that life cycle assessment should not be undertaken without taking into account the

relationship that exists between the product and its packaging.
4.2.3 Allocation

The methodological requirements regarding allocation are described in EN ISO 14044. ISO/TR 14049

provides generic examples of possible implementations. According to EN ISO 14044, allocation relies on

being able to link unit processes within a product system by simple material or energy flows. The following

allocation principles are applicable to co products, internal energy allocation, services (e.g. transport, waste

treatment), and to recycling, either open- or closed-loop:

 the study shall identify the processes shared with other product systems and deal with them according to

the procedure summarised below;

 the sum of the allocated inputs shall be equal to the unallocated inputs of the unit process and the sum of

the allocated outputs shall equal the unallocated outputs of the unit process;

 whenever several alternative allocation procedures seem applicable, a sensitivity analysis shall be

conducted to illustrate the consequences of departure from the selected approach.

The allocation procedures described in EN ISO 14044 can be summarised as:
Step 1: Whenever possible, allocation should be avoided by:

 dividing the unit process to be allocated into two or more sub-processes and collecting the input and

output data related to these sub processes;

 expanding the product system to include the additional functions related to the co products.

Step 2: Where allocation cannot be avoided, the inputs and outputs of the system should be partitioned

between its different products or functions in a way that reflects the underlying physical relationships between

them, i.e. they should reflect the way in which the inputs and outputs are changed by quantitative changes in

the products or functions delivered by the system. The resulting allocation will not necessarily be in proportion

to any simple measurement such as the mass or molar flows of co-products.
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Step 3: Where a physical relationship alone cann
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