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Comparative Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of a newly designed plastic bottle: Materials selection and end- of-life strategies.
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Industrial Ecology. (Sustainable Production and Consumption)
2014 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Nowadays, plastic bottles are one of the essential parts of our daily life. TriU bottle is a newly designed plastic bottle using as a beverage container, which can also be used for building bottle houses as well as different types of architectural structures after its first life. In this thesis, it is considered that the bottle will be produced from both crude oil and sugarcane based low-density polyethylenes (LDPE). The aim of this thesis is to investigate which raw material source has less environmental impacts during the life cycle of the TriU bottle.

The main objectives of this thesis are to assess potential environmental impacts of production, consumption, waste management of the bottle from a life cycle perspective and to compare the potential environmental impacts of a crude oil based bottle with a sugarcane-based bottle.

Besides, this thesis examines some specific research questions about major potential environmental impacts and end-of-life strategies of the bottle. In addition, this life cycle assessment (LCA) research is conducted according to the ISO (international organization for standardization) 14040 LCA methodology with the help of the GaBi 4 academic software.

Results of this study demonstrate that during the life cycle of the bottle, the sugarcane based LDPE has less environmental impacts than the crude oil based LDPE as long as the used resources for producing the sugarcane LDPE are considered as renewable. However, if the used resources are considered as non- renewable, the positive effects of the sugarcane based LDPE are inverted by the emissions from the non- renewable resources.

Results also demonstrate that from the environmental and Tanzanian national energy production policy view, an incineration process is the best choice than a landfill process if the raw material for producing the bottle is considered from a renewable source (sugarcane LDPE). However, if the raw material for producing the bottle is considered from a non-renewable source (crude oil LDPE), the positive effects of the incineration process are also overturned by the green house gases (GHGs) emissions from the non- renewable source.

In addition, the global warming potential (GWP) is the major potential environmental impact from the both types of bottles. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
National Category
Environmental Management
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-147251OAI: diva2:729185
Educational program
Master of Science - Sustainable Technology
Available from: 2014-06-27 Created: 2014-06-25 Last updated: 2014-06-27Bibliographically approved

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