Printed and tablet e-paper newspaper from an environmental perspective: a screening life cycle assessment
2010 (English)In: Environmental impact assessment review, ISSN 0195-9255, E-ISSN 1873-6432, Vol. 30, no 3, 177-191 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Viable alternatives to conventional newspapers, such as electronic papers, e-papers or e-readers, are intended to have many of the qualities of paper, such as reading using reflective light, high resolution, 180° viewing angle. It has been suggested that the environmental impact of e-paper can be lower than for printed and internet-based newspapers. However, in order to find the facts of the matter, a thorough life cycle perspective covering raw material acquisition, production, use and disposal should preferably be used to study the environmental performance of the different products. A screening life cycle assessment was performed to describe the potential environmental impacts of two product systems; printed on paper and tablet e-paper newspapers. Results show that the most significant phase of the life cycle for both product systems was the production of substrate or platform. Accordingly, key aspects that may affect the resulting environmental performance of newspaper product systems were for the printed newspaper number of readers per copy and number of pages per issue and for the tablet e-paper newspaper lifetime and multi-use of the device. The printed newspaper in general had a higher energy use, higher emissions of gases contributing to climate change and several other impact categories than the tablet e-paper newspaper. It was concluded that tablet e-paper has the potential to decrease the environmental impact of newspaper consumption. However, further studies regarding the environmental impact of production and waste management of electronic devices and internet use, as well as more comprehensive assessment of toxicological impacts are needed. As the data on the electronic devices becomes more comprehensive this may prove to be a major limitation of electronic newspaper systems. Developers are suggested to strive towards minimisation of toxic and rare substances in production.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 30, no 3, 177-191 p.
life cycle assessment, newspaper, e-paper, multichannel, reading tablet, electronic media
Media and Communications Other Environmental Engineering
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-12480DOI: 10.1016/j.eiar.2009.07.001ISI: 000278320500004ScopusID: 2-s2.0-77049105620OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-12480DiVA: diva2:315237
QC 201006102010-04-282010-04-282012-03-20Bibliographically approved