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Life-cycle assessment

Consulting and service

For which applications is the use of compostable polymers sensible and truly sustainable? More and more, industry, consumers and politicians are confronted with this question. BASF has a vast pool of competence and expertise in eco-efficiency and life cycle analyses. By comparing the ecological foot print of various product alternatives, it can be examined which product offers what environmental advantages.


Environmentally sound organic waste collection

Compostable bags from ecovio® can not only be used multiple times as shopping bags, but also finally to collect organic waste. As a result, they offer a key advantage when it comes to organic waste recovery because waste management companies do not have to laboriously remove the bags. Bags made with ecovio® have no negative impact on the compost quality – they will biodegrade together with the organic waste to form compost that then can be used as fertilizer and to improve soil quality.

BASF has conducted an life-cycle analysis of the economic and environmental advantages and disadvantages of compostable carrier bags. The results were also confirmed by independent institutes. Compostable carrier bags made from ecovio® were compared with bags made from the conventional plastic polyethylene (PE) and with paper bags in terms of their environmental impact over the whole life cycle. The study showed that the method of organic waste disposal (ca. 32% incineration, ca. 68% composting) has a significant influence on the outcome. The environmental impact of producing the bags from the various materials is negligible.

The amendment of the German Waste Management and Recycling Act (KrWG) will require organic waste bins to be introduced throughout the country from 2015 onward. This scenario – collecting and composting all organic waste on the basis of this new legislation – was also investigated in the life-cycle analysis. It was shown that wider use of ecovio® bags and greater public acceptance combined with an increased collection rate and composting volume, offer a significant environmental benefit compared to PE or paper bags. Therefore, every ecovio® bag can help achieve the goal of the amended German Waste Management and Recycling Act and reduce the impact on the environment.

For more information on the life-cycle analysis,
please download:

ecovio® bags lifecycle-analysis

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