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Don’t you know what Life Cycle Assessment is? Keep reading, here we tell you!

Law 2232 of 2022 of single-use plastics, has among its exceptions the use of traditional plastics in single-use applications, as long as the alternative materials to manufacture them have a greater environmental and human impact, according to results of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). This is an environmental management tool used to calculate the potential impacts associated with a product or service during all stages of its life, from the extraction of raw materials, production, distribution and use, to its possible reuse, recycling or disposal.

This analysis is especially useful in the industry, as it allows a detailed evaluation of aspects such as the selection of raw materials, product design, transportation, end-of-life strategies and cycle closure, helping companies to make decisions that generate less environmental impact. Additionally, it seeks to identify unexpected consequences and impacts to explore different scenarios of environmental contamination.

In fact, the development of this tool is based on the international standards ISO 14040 and ISO 14044, where 3 different types of analysis are specified:

  • From the cradle to grave. All stages of the life cycle of the object of study are taken into account. It is the most complete analysis and, consequently, the most recommended. The foregoing, since phases that can lead to benefit or harm some alternative are not limited. However, it requires a high data and information demand from third parties.
  • From the cradle to door. It is a shorter study in which intermediate stages of the cycle are evaluated, starting from the evaluation of raw materials.
  • Closing the cycle. This analysis focuses only on the final stage of the object of study. With the results obtained, it is possible to identify opportunities of improvement in some of the previous stages.

On the other hand, this evaluation is carried out using specialized software, taking as a reference the inputs and outputs of water, energy and materials, in addition to carbon footprint data and own environmental impact values. Now, in case they are not available, the use of databases will be necessary for said compilation, which leads to less precision in the obtained results. This is mainly one of the disadvantages of this method, since normally the databases are built in European countries, which have different carbon footprint values than those of Latin America.

Finally, as mentioned above, this powerful tool is of great help for more sustainable decisions, being clear about the objectives, scope and limitations of the evaluation, in order to obtain clear and consistent results.

If you have questions or require more information, you can contact the Masterbatch Plant located in Sabaneta, Antioquia by phone: +57 (604) 444 80 97 or by email at

Author: MB Plant Research’s team | September 15, 2022.

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