DBPapers
DOI: 10.5593/sgem2017H/43/S18.015

LIFE CYCLE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS OF ROMANIAN BEER PRODUCTION

C. Ghinea, A. Leahu
Thursday 23 November 2017 by Libadmin2017

References: 17th International Multidisciplinary Scientific GeoConference SGEM 2017, www.sgemviennagreen.org, SGEM2017 Vienna GREEN Conference Proceedings, ISBN 978-619-7408-28-7 / ISSN 1314-2704, 27 - 29 November, 2017, Vol. 17, Issue 43, 115-122 pp; DOI: 10.5593/sgem2017H/43/S18.015

ABSTRACT

One of the most important sectors in the Romanian beverage industry is beer production. In 2015 this sector brought revenues of 533 million Euros to the state budget. The Romanian consume an average of 80 liters per capita so that Romania ranks 7th in the hierarchy of European beer-consuming countries according to the Brewers of Europe. The largest beer consumers from Europe in 2015 were the Czechs with 143 L per capita followed by Germans (106 L per capita) and Austrians (105 L per capita). In our case 97% of beer consumed comes from local production and 70% of natural ingredients used for beer production are from Romania. In this context, the paper aims is to contribute to the analysis of the environmental impacts related with beer industry. The functional unit considered was the quantity produced in L beer/day from a factory in the high season. In this study the boundaries includes the beer manufacturing, packaging, transport, retail, consumption and waste management. An important stage from environmental view in the brewing cycle is beer packaging: the beer is packed mostly in glass bottles, followed by PET bottles, KEG barrels and PET drums of different sizes. The ISO 14040/44 life cycle assessment (LCA) methodology was applied in order to obtain the environmental impacts associated with beer life cycle. The necessary data for the inventory analysis were obtained from a beer manufacturing, databases and other sources. An LCA software (GaBi) was used for modelling and the environmental impacts were determined according to LCA methods like: CML 2001, ReCiPe and UBP 2013. The values for impact categories such as Abiotic Depletion (ADP elements) and ADP fossil, Acidification Potential (AP), Eutrophication Potential (EP), Global Warming Potential (GWP), and Human Toxicity Potential (HTP) were obtained. Results showed that PET bottles production contribute with 49.90% to ADP elements followed by glass bottles production (37.5%), while for ADP fossil glass bottles production is the most significant contributor (59%). Also, glass bottles production, followed by waste landfilling and electricity are the main contributors to GWP. The stages included in beer production contributes to AP and EP impacts categories according to the results obtained with CML 2001 and has a significant impact on water resources up to 53% of the total contributions to this impact category included in UBP 2013 method. The beer packaged in PET bottles seems at the first view to be the most favorable option compared with the use of glass bottles, but this changes when glass bottles are reused and PET bottles are recycled, incinerated or landfilled.

Keywords: environment, LCA, packaging, PET, recycling

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