Existing product life cycle assessment (LCA) studies on offset printed matter all point at paper as the overall dominating cause of environmental impacts. All studies focus on energy consumption and the dominating role of paper is primarily based on the energy-related impact categories global warming, acidification and nutrient enrichment. Ecotoxicity and human toxicity, which are related to emissions of chemicals etc., are only included to a limited degree or not at all. In this paper we include the impacts from chemicals emitted during the life cycle of sheet fed offset printed matter. This is done by making use of some of the newest knowledge about emissions from the production at the printing industry combined with knowledge about the composition of the printing materials used. In cases with available data also upstream emissions from the production of printing materials are included. The results show that inclusion of the chemical emission-related impacts makes the EDIP97 impact profile of sheet fed offset products much more varied, as well for the normalised profiles as for the profiles weighted by distance to political environmental targets. Especially the ecotoxicity impact potential related to the production stage may contribute significantly, and the use of paper no longer becomes the overall dominating factor driving the environmental impacts.
- Printed matter
- Analysis of robustness
- Chemical emission-related impact categories
Larsen, H. F., Hansen, M. S., & Hauschild, M. Z. (2009). Life cycle assessment of offset printed matter with EDIP97: – how important are emissions of chemicals? Journal of Cleaner Production, 17(2), 115-128. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2008.03.006