LCA: the future for improved sustainability in Europe?


PlasticsEurope, in association with The Parliament Magazine, organised a meeting at the European Parliament on 10 October 2012 entitled "Life Cycle Assessment (LCA): the future for improved sustainability in Europe?" hosted by the MEP Bas Eickhout of the Dutch Greens Party.

The event featured speakers Michele Galatola from the European Commission, DG Environment and Rana Pant from the JRC - IES  who presented the EU Environmental Footprint of Product (PEF) project and attracted more than 60 attendees from various professional associations and from the European Commission. PlasticsEurope has a long standing contribution to Life Cycle Thinking.

PlasticsEurope, the pan-European Association of Plastics Producers, has been compiling environmental data for polymers since the 1990s. This, together with a transparent methodology, is downloadable from the PlasticsEurope website (http://www.plasticseurope.org/plastics-sustainability/eco-profiles.aspx).

PlasticsEurope is also a member of the UNEP-SETAC(*) LCA initiative whose mission is to "put science-based Life Cycle approaches into practice worldwide." The association has also participated in the European Commission?s pilot test of the Product Environmental Footprint project.

PlasticsEurope supports the development of policy options based on a multi-criteria harmonized methodology across the entire life cycle and recommends implementation on a voluntary basis. Doing so will allow capitalising on the learning experience and provide time for further necessary improvements as well as the development of Product Category Rules and a consistent international database.

PlasticsEurope believes that the aggregation of multiple-criteria to a simplified, single score will be more beneficial. This will require the involvement of the whole supply chain and stakeholders as well as full transparency and accessibility to upstream data.

(*) UNEP - SETAC: United Nation Environmental Program - Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry
Related information
The cycle of life published by The Parliament Magazine
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