* EPS has a limited environmental impact in this LCA study.
* 35% EPS recycling* leads to a decrease of 10-20% in the environmental impact.
These are some of the results of the Life Cycle Assessment study commissioned by EUMEPS Packaging from the international consultants PricewaterhouseCoopers-Ecobilan.
This study was carried out in 10 European countries and considered the global packaging system (EPS protective packaging, cardboard packaging and LDPE foam) of a TV set with a 25 inch screen.
This study was submitted to an external critical review carried out by an independent LCA expert, in order to confirm the validity of the methodology and the results as well as its conformity with international standards (ISO 14040 -14043).
The two goals of this LCA were to identify the environmental impacts associated with the use of EPS packaging and to quantify the possible improvements through the analysis of 30 environmental key indicators (energy and water consumption, greenhouse effect, eutrophication [water pollution], waste production etc) according to a reference scenario and 10 alternative scenarios to improve the EPS impact in the global situation.
The study demonstrated that for most environmental key indicators, the relative EPS impact was minor and that a global improvement policy of all the packaging system components would be necessary.
This initiative resulting from the collaboration of 15 European industrial EPS manufacturers, reflects the context of a European (and national) public policy aiming at the continuous environmental performance improvement of products and services known as “Integrated Product Policy”, a major component of the sustainable development strategies.
*The European EPS industry is currently taking back more than 35% of used EPS.