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Don't know what Life Cycle Analysis is? Read on, here we tell you!

The Law 2232 of 2022 on single-use plastics, among its exceptions, allows the use of traditional plastics in single-use applications, provided that the alternative materials to manufacture them have a greater environmental and human impact, according to the results of the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). The latter 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 industry, as it allows a detailed evaluation of aspects such as raw material selection, product design, transportation, end-of-life strategies and cycle closure, helping companies to make decisions that generate a lower environmental impact. In addition, it seeks to identify unexpected consequences and impacts to explore different environmental pollution scenarios.

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 cradle to grave. There, all life cycle stages of the object of study are taken into account. It is the most comprehensive analysis and, consequently, the most recommended. The above, since no phases are limited that may benefit or harm an alternative. However, it requires a high demand for third-party data and information.
  • From cradle to gate. It is a shorter study in which intermediate stages of the cycle are evaluated, starting from the evaluation of raw materials.
  • Cycle closure. This analysis focuses solely on the final stage of the object of study. With the results obtained, it is possible to identify opportunities for improvement in some of the previous stages.

On the other hand, this evaluation is carried out by means of specialized software, taking as reference the inputs and outputs of water, energy and materials, in addition to carbon footprint data and own environmental impact values. However, if they are not available, it will be necessary to use databases for such compilation, which leads to a lower accuracy in the results obtained. This is mainly one of the disadvantages of this method, since the databases are normally constructed in European countries, which have carbon footprint values different from those of Latin America.

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

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

Author: MB Plant Research Team | September 15, 2022.