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Evaluation of the environmental performance of printing and writing paper using life cycle assessment

Ana Cláudia Dias (Department of Environment and Planning, University of Aveiro, Aveiro, Portugal)
Margarida Louro (Department of Environment and Planning, University of Aveiro, Aveiro, Portugal)
Luís Arroja (Department of Environment and Planning, University of Aveiro, Aveiro, Portugal)
Isabel Capela (Department of Environment and Planning, University of Aveiro, Aveiro, Portugal)

Management of Environmental Quality

ISSN: 1477-7835

Article publication date: 1 October 2004

Abstract

The paper identifies and assesses the potential environmental burdens associated with the life cycle of printing and writing paper produced in Portugal from Eucalyptus globulus and consumed in Germany. Life cycle assessment methodology is applied in accordance with International Organization for Standardization standards. The life cycle of printing and writing paper covers the following stages: forest, pulp production, paper production, final disposal, energy production, chemical production and transports. The results suggest that pulp production processes have an important contribution to water emissions, resulting in a major contribution to eutrophication. Besides, it plays a major role in renewable energy consumption. Energy production in the grid, printing and writing paper production and transports contribute significantly to air emissions and to non‐renewable energy consumption, and consequently to global warming, acidification and non‐renewable resource depletion. Wastepaper landfilling assumes the predominant role in photochemical oxidant formation. Useful information is provided regarding the stages of the life cycle where improvements should be done in order to achieve an effective reduction of the environmental burdens.

Keywords

Citation

Cláudia Dias, A., Louro, M., Arroja, L. and Capela, I. (2004), "Evaluation of the environmental performance of printing and writing paper using life cycle assessment", Management of Environmental Quality, Vol. 15 No. 5, pp. 473-483. https://doi.org/10.1108/14777830410553915

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited