Environmental impact assessment of flexible food packaging

Nathalie Katherine Bittrich Vargas, Marcela Ines Ruiz Mogollón, Rosa Patricia Larios-Francia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle in a journalpeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

The impacts of environmental pollution are potentially irreversible and have become a major concern for society. Faced with this reality, the purpose of this study is to identify what type of flexible packaging material used in the food industry creates less pollution. The Leopold Matrix was employed to quantitatively assess the life cycle of plastic and paper packaging, using information from various scientific articles and peer-reviewed indexed journals. The interactions between physical, biological, and socioeconomic elements were established for each action in the life cycle of the packages. The results showed that flexible plastic packaging pollutes 16 percent more in the physical aspect concerning soil and water pollution than paper packaging, which has a more significant impact on air pollution. Regarding the biological aspect, plastic pollutes 63 percent more than paper in terms of damage to flora and fauna. Finally, on the socioeconomic level, paper poses a greater health risk for human beings owing to the emission of gases in its production, whereas plastic packages contribute more to the economy for being an extensive industry.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-61
Number of pages23
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Sustainability
Volume19
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Common Ground Research Networks, Nathalie Katherine Bittrich.

Keywords

  • Environmental Impact
  • Flexible Food Packaging
  • Leopold Matrix
  • Life Cycle
  • Paper
  • Plastic

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