Life-cycle assessment, also known as ‘eco-balance’, measures how green a product is.
So industries constantly work on new ideas to make products environmentally friendly. As a result, we now have hybrid cars, rechargeable batteries, and LED bulbs.
But how can they compare each idea and make decisions? Hence science has come far enough to put a number on how green a product is.
This technique calculates the ‘environmental footprint’ of the product throughout its life.
By referring to ‘environmental footprint’ means the overall harmful substances released to air, water, and land.
Therefore it is a process that many industries choose to adopt in their go green campaign.
The life-cycle of a product starts by extracting the materials to make it. Moreover, we usually need to process them to use in the manufacturing of the product.
After the product is made, we pack and distribute it to the users. Finally, in the end, the product will end up as waste or for recycling.
Life-cycle assessment is carried out in four phases, according to the international standards.
Firstly we need to identify the goal and the scope of the study. We must identify how we will use the results and who is the audience.
In the next step, we have to collect the data by listing everything into an inventory. We insert the data on modeling software and we assess the results.
Finally, we can take decisions on which alternative to choose after we interpret the results.
There are a number of industries that are already applying this analysis. The construction industry is mainly using it to choose between materials.
However, there are also others like paper, plastic bags, plastic bottles and so much more.
In addition, policy-makers also use it as a tool in shaping policies on wastes, products, recycling, and eco-design.
It is a valuable tool that will only help more in the future for making safer products for the users and more sustainable solutions for the environment.
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With love…for science,