Extensive LCA research has been done on food and beverage packaging, and the knowledge base continues to grow. This report sought to capture this knowledge to help focus and direct food and beverage packaging-related conversations and the design of future LCA studies on packaging systems, with the aim of improving the information transfer among executive leadership within companies, non-LCA users, LCA Practitioners, and/or commissioners.
The analysis provides practical guidance to support decision making regarding environmental performance of packaging for food and beverage applications in order to address increasing expectations on the packaging industry. In addition, it provides a foundation of understanding for other packaging stakeholders (consumers, retailers, NGOs, etc.) of the challenges and opportunities related to driving common environmental sustainability goals for packaging in the food and beverage industry. This is achieved through a systematic extraction of knowledge from existing LCA studies in order to articulate the value of applying LCA to food and beverage packaging. Food and beverage products, while occasionally included in packaging analyses, is not addressed directly as the focus is on the packaging itself. The conclusions drawn in this study represent the foundation for future research on the environmental impact of packaging in this industry.