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LCA of single-use beverage packaging materials

Researchers from the University of Southampton released a peer-reviewed article in the journal Detritus detailing the impact of a life cycle assessment (LCA) of several types of drink containers: PET bottles, glass bottles, aluminium cans, milk cartons, Tetra Paks and HDPE bottles. They found that plastic bottles were not the most environmentally friendly option, and glass bottles (even when made from 100% recycled glass) showed the highest environmental impact among all materials evaluated. The most favoured alternatives were recycled aluminium containers for pressurized drinks, Tetra Paks for juices, and cartons for milk, but the latter still use plastics in their construction. The authors call for "a move to reusable beverage packaging to reduce environmental impacts and encourage more sustainable lifestyles", and propose to incentivize this with new infrastructure and tax deterrents.

life-cycle-assessment | recycling

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