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Master of Environmental Science and Management: Master's Group Project
(2023)

Comparative Life Cycle Assessment of Flexible Film Packaging and Algae Bioplastics in the Apparel and Food Industries

bioplastic compostable grocery bag, filled with red, yellow apples

Deliverables:

Proposal

Description

This project aims to understand the current impacts of traditional packaging, such as LDPE flexible film and paper packaging, and how they compare to innovative alternatives like algae-based bioplastics.

We will complete life cycle assessments for various packaging products in order to quantify environmental impacts across their life stages on multiple environmental impact indicators. We will analyze the results of these LCAs in consideration of the client’s goals for understanding the properties of packaging materials such as:

  • Waste reduction: recyclability, biodegradability (compostability)

  • Decreased fossil fuel dependency: energy demand, renewability of inputs

  • Technical performance: protection against the elements

  • Alignment with company values: production location, fair labor practices

Additionally, we will conduct a survey of consumers relating to their perceptions of packaging types, waste sorting behaviors, access to waste hauling, and willingness to adopt recycling or composting practices.

Client Contacts: Andrew Yip and Lori Bystrom

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