Both to gain more insight into the environmental impacts of its various packaging solutions, and to accelerate the development of more sustainable options, Tyler Packaging, a packaging manufacturer headquartered in Warwickshire, UK, recently completed a thorough investigation of the different types of packaging it produces.
The company chose to do so in the form of a Life Cycle Assessment with consulting firm Trayak, overseen by the Pet Sustainability Coalition.
The LCA evaluated the environmental impacts of five of Tyler Packaging’s most common packaging solutions in pet food. Next to its 100% recyclable packaging, the company’s PET/PET MET/CLEAR PE, its compostable pouch, its poly woven sack, and its paper laminated bag were all assessed.
The total environmental impact of each packaging solution was measured against the material phase (extracting and processing materials), the manufacturing phase (manufacturing or conversion processes that companies use to add value and create the product), the use phase (consumption of resources such as electricity, fuel or other consumables), the transportation phase (road, rail air, and sea, as well as the distances travelled), and the end of life phase (typical waste management).
The environmental impacts of the products were calculated in 7 different categories: fossil fuel use, GHG emissions, water use, freshwater eutrophication, mineral resource use, human impact, and freshwater ecotoxicity.
Unsurprisingly, the 100% recyclable packaging was found to rank lower than PET/PE in all seven environmental indexes measured, giving it a considerably lower environmental impact than its rival option. It was calculated that if a customer switched from Tyler Packaging’s PET/PE solution, they could potentially use 16% less fossil fuel, make a 21% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, and use 26% less water.
And in fact, the PET/PE ranked higher in most categories compared to other packaging solutions, with the highest impact in water use. Second to this was the poly woven sack, largely due to having more mass per bag.
“This LCA has allowed us insight into which direction to take our packaging innovations in future when moving towards a circular economy and reducing packaging waste,” said Adam Kay, Sales and Technical Director at Tyler Packaging. “It has also allowed us to share our findings with customers to help them navigate the world of packaging, and give them scientific data on which is the best path forward, and not just assumptions.”
Tyler Packaging was founded in 1982. The company is a supplier of flexible packaging, offering a comprehensive range of films, pre-made bags, pouches, and sacks that encompass the most up-to-date production and materials technology. All of their products are produced in accordance with the BRC/IoP Standard for Food Grade Packaging, as well as those of ISO 9001 and ISO14001.