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Waste Management xxx (2018) xxx–xxx Contents lists available at ScienceDirect Waste Management journal homepage:
Waste Management xxx (2018) xxx–xxx Contents lists available at ScienceDirect Waste Management journal homepage:

Contents lists available at ScienceDirect

Waste Management

journal homepage: www.else vier.com/loc ate/wasman Life cycle assessment of bottled water: A case study of

Life cycle assessment of bottled water: A case study of Green2O products

Naomi Horowitz, Jessica Frago, Dongyan Mu

School of Environmental and Sustainability Science, Kean University, 1000 Morris Ave., Union, NJ 07083, United States

article info

Article history:

Received 24 August 2017 Revised 19 January 2018 Accepted 19 February 2018 Available online xxxx

abstract

This study conducted a full life cycle analysis of bottled water on four types of bottles: ENSO, PLA (corn based), recycled PET, and regular (petroleum based) PET, to discern which bottle material is more bene- ficial to use in terms of environmental impacts. PET bottles are the conventional bottles used that are not biodegradable and accumulate in landfills. PLA corn based bottles are derived from an organic substance and are degradable under certain environmental conditions. Recycled PET bottles are purified PET bottles that were disposed of and are used in a closed loop system. An ENSO bottle contains a special additive which is designed to help the plastic bottle degrade after disposed of in a landfill. The results showed that of all fourteen impact categories examined, the recycled PET and ENSO bottles were generally better than the PLA and regular PET bottles; however, the ENSO had the highest impacts in the categories of global warming and respiratory organics, and the recycled PET had the highest impact in the eutrophication cat- egory. The life cycle stages that were found to have the highest environmental impacts were the bottle manufacturing stage and the bottled water distribution to storage stage. Analysis of the mixed bottle material based on recycled PET resin and regular PET resin was discussed as well, in which key impact categories were identified. The PLA bottle contained extremely low impacts in the carcinogens, respira- tory organics and global warming categories, yet it still contained the highest impacts in seven of the fourteen categories. Overall, the results demonstrate that the usage of more sustainable bottles, such as biodegradable ENSO bottles and recycled PET bottles, appears to be a viable option for decreasing impacts of the bottled water industry on the environment.

Published by Elsevier Ltd.

1. Introduction

Bottled water is a fast growing industry, with consumption reaching a record high in 2015 with 11.7 billion gallons ( Rodwan, 2016 ). In 2016 bottled water consumption in Mexico was the high- est worldwide with 67.2 gallons per capita, followed by Thailand with 56.9 gallons per capita, Italy with 47.5 gallons per capita, and the United States with 39.3 gallons per capita ( Statista, 2017 ). In 2012, worldwide consumption of bottled water totaled

288

billion liters, while the projected consumption for 2017 totaled

391

billion liters ( Statista, 2017 ). As the industry booms, however,

it raises increasing concerns over resource use, human health, and on the negative impacts to ecological systems. One major concern is the predominant application of plastic bottles made from a petroleum product such as polyethylene terephthalate (PET) ( Revathi, et al., 2017 ). PET is a long-chain poly- mer part of the polyester family ( Sinha, et al., 2010; Muschiolik,

Abbreviations: ENSO, Environmental Solution; GHG, greenhouse gas; GWP, global warming potential; PET, polyethylene terephthalate; PLA, polylactic acid. Corresponding author. E-mail address: dmu@kean.edu (D. Mu).

0956-053X/Published by Elsevier Ltd.

1997 ). The intermediates of PET are terephthalic acid (TPA) and ethylene glycol (EG) which are both acquired using oil feedstock ( Sinha, et al., 2010 ). Pure PET is a shapeless, glass-like material that crystalizes when certain modifying agents are added or when heat is applied above 72 C ( Sinha, et al., 2010 ). Typical PET bottle are a major threat to the environment due to the high amount of chem- icals, namely petroleum, required in production, as well as incor- rect usage and disposal ( Revathi, et al., 2017 ). Approximately 4% of the petroleum used annually in the world in 2016 was for the production of plastic ( British Plastic Federation 2016 ). Bottled water also results in a large amount of waste. According to the study by the Center for Sustainable Systems, University of Michigan (2015), approximately 7.2–14.1 million tons of plastic waste disposed of in landfills each year accounts for 22% to 43% of waste disposed in landfills ( Gourmelon, 2015 ). The majority of plastics are not biodegradeable, and therefore the bulk of the poly- mers manufactured will persist for decades, centuries, and quite possibly millennia ( Hopewell, et al., 2009 ). The environmental concerns regarding plastic waste are creat- ing incentives to develop alternatives for petroleum based bottle manufacturing to reduce plastic solid waste disposal ( Zia et al., 2007 ). Currently, scientists have developed many alternatives to

2 N. Horowitz et al. / Waste Management xxx (2018) xxx–xxx divert plastic bottles from

2

N. Horowitz et al. / Waste Management xxx (2018) xxx–xxx

divert plastic bottles from landfills. Intensive research has been put into the field of recycling. Recycling allows for a closed loop system

to repurpose the bottle after disposal. Another alternative is the

usage of biodegradable plastic bottles, such as corn-based polylac-

tic acid (PLA) bottles. PLA bottle grade is essentially carbon neutral

since it is derived from carbon sequestering plants, and as such is

also biodegradable when under appropriate environmental condi- tions ( West, 2016 ). Environmental concerns, however, are raised with different options for diverting plastic bottles from landfills. For example, recycling uses energy to sort and process the plastics, which increases the resource consumption and cost. Many water bottle industries hesitate to recycle plastics resin because the cost may be even higher than the new plastic resin ( Intagliata, 2012 ). Simi- larly, the PLA resin is derived from renewable resources such as, biomass of sugar cane or corn starch ( Madival, et al., 2009 ). Grow- ing raw materials for PLA consumes energy and resources, which increases life cycle impacts of PLA bottles significantly. Another misconception seems to be that PLA will simply degrade once in

a landfill, however, the PLA plastic is only compostable under cer-

tain environmental conditions – mainly when digested by microbes with temperatures reaching 140 F for ten consecutive days ( Royte, 2006 ). In addition, increasing PLA production seems

to be a question of morality when so many people in the world

are starving and malnourished ( Royte, 2006 ). The ENSO bottle is a relatively new alternative created to increase biodegradability of plastic bottles in landfills. ENSO bot-

tles are regular PET bottles which contain an additive that makes the bottles more enticing to the billions of microorganisms which normally degrade plastic bottles. The microorganisms break down the bottles into biogases and inert humus leaving no toxic materi-

als behind (ENSO Bottles, 2009 ). After the ENSO additive is mixed into the plastic bottle components, the final product looks, feels, and performs exactly as a normal bottle would, with the exception

of being biodegradable. Research has found that ENSO plastics

biodegrade by about 25 percent in only 160 days in ideal environ- mental conditions ( Huff, 2013 ). In addition, ENSO plastics can be recycled just as any other typical plastic would, however, since a majority of the bottle is composed of petroleum based plastic resin,

carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) and methane (CH 4 ) are released once the bot- tle decomposes. In order to evaluate whether PLA and recycled PET bottles are beneficial for the environment, past research was conducted on the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of ordinary PET bottles in conjunc- tion with recycled PET and corn based PLA bottles. A study done by

Li Shen et al. (2010) , analyzed open loop recycling of PET bottles

with four PET recycling cases: mechanical recycling, semi- mechanical recycling, back-to-oligomer recycling, and back-to- monomer recycling. The results were also compared to polylactic acid (PLA) bottles. The results concluded that recycled PET fibers

have lower environmental impacts than virgin fiber production, specifically, in the categories of abiotic depletion, acidification and human toxicity. The recycled fibers were found to have a com- paratively high environmental impact on freshwater aquatic eco- toxicity than the virgin PET, as well as a lower Global Warming Potential (GWP), than PLA bottles. While Li Shen et al. conducted

a LCA study on recycled PET and PLA bottles, no LCA study has been

conducted on ENSO bottles in conjunction with regular PET, recy- cled PET, and PLA bottles. This study analyzed three supposed environmentally friendly bottle alternatives: recycled PET bottles, PLA bottles and ENSO bot- tles. As a baseline, the regular petroleum based PET bottles were analyzed for comparison. The study coordinated with the bottled water manufacturing company Green2O, a New Jersey based water bottle company that aims to provide a premium all natural alkaline spring water, packaged in an environmentally conscious container.

The company proposed three product lines with different bottle vendors to produce bottled water. Therefore, this study developed a model that integrated the bottle manufacturing, water fillers, and product distribution in a Green2O scenario. The study also aimed to identify the key production stages that raise environmental impacts in the bottled water production. The outcomes of this study are expected to increase the public’s understanding of environmental impacts of plastic bottles and enlighten the water bottle industries of the impacts of various plastic bottle alternatives. The results can also help the bottle man- ufacturing industries improve their products to lower environmen- tal impacts in certain production stages.

2. Methodology

The framework of this study followed the guidelines according to ISO 14,000 standards for LCA. Data applied in LCA modeling and analysis were either collected from the Green2O product chains or retrieved from existing LCA databases, such as EcoInvent 3.1. A sce- nario analysis was also conducted in order to determine if combin- ing various percentages of recycled PET resin and regular PET resin would have a lower impact on the environment.

2.1. Goal and scope

The goal of this project was to analyze the environmental impacts of Green2O bottles by assessing 4 types of plastic materi- als including ENSO, PLA, 100% recycled PET, and regular PET. The 100% recycled PET bottle was assumed entirely made from recy- cled plastic resin. The PLA bottle was assumed to be corn based and compostable. The ENSO bottle consists of regular PET resin, albeit contains a special additive (1% by weight), which allows it to degrade in a landfill extremely quickly. The regular PET was assumed to be petroleum based plastic material. The functional unit denoted for this project was 12 bottles, as this amount is typ- ically found in one pack of Green2O water bottles. The system boundary for the bottles being studied is illustrated in the flow diagram in Fig. 1 . The boundary took into account the complete life-cycle, beginning from the extraction of raw materials through the disposal of the product in a landfill. This boundary included plastic material manufacturing, bottle manufacturing, fill- ing the bottles with water, assembly of the product, distribution of the product to storage and the market, consumption, and disposal/ recycling. Generally, the bottle preforms were assumed to be made of different raw materials at different locations, and then trans- ported to Tennessee to be filled with water. The bottle manufactur- ing is described in Fig. 1 . The products, bottled water were then distributed across the country. This study assumed identical distri- bution and use stages for the four types of water bottles. The final disposals of four types of bottles were different and described in Fig. 1 as well.

2.2. Life cycle Inventory (LCI)

The goal of Life Cycle Inventory (LCI) was established to identify and quantify the environmental factors crossing the system boundaries. LCI data, as shown in Table 1 , consisted of raw material and energy inputs utilized to create each product. The LCI included all the unit processes and quantity of inputs shown in Fig. 1 . The impacts of unit processes such as plastic resin production, blow molding, and water injection were attained from Ecoinvent 3.0 database on Simapro. The material use and inputs were based on the actual weight of bottles and packaging. All the calculations used to derive the quantitative data are described in the Supple- mentary Information (SI).

Please cite this article in press as: Horowitz, N., et al. Life cycle assessment of bottled water: A case study of Green2O products. Waste Management (2 018),

N. Horowitz et al. / Waste Management xxx (2018) xxx–xxx 3 Bo le manufacturing ENSO

N. Horowitz et al. / Waste Management xxx (2018) xxx–xxx

3

Bo le manufacturing

ENSO bo le

PET Resin with ENSO produc on 0.27821 kg

Blow molding 0.00466 kWh

AZ to OH

ENSO Resin transporta on

ENSO Bo le transporta on

OH to TN

PLA bo le

ENSO Bo le transporta on OH to TN PLA bo le MI to OH PLA Bo
MI to OH PLA Bo le transporta on OH to TN Recycled PET bo le

MI to OH

PLA Bo le transporta on

OH to TN

Recycled PET bo le

le transporta on OH to TN Recycled PET bo le Recycled PET resin produc on 0.27821

Recycled PET resin produc on 0.27821 kg

Blow molding 0.00466 kWh

Recycled PET preform transporta on OH to OH, MI

kWh Recycled PET preform transporta on OH to OH , MI Recycled PET bo le transporta

Recycled PET bo le transporta on OH, MI to TN

Typical PET bo le

le transporta on OH, MI to TN Typical PET bo le PET resin produc on 0.27821

PET resin produc on 0.27821

MI to TN Typical PET bo le PET resin produc on 0.27821 Blow molding 0.00466 kWh

Blow molding 0.00466 kWh

le PET resin produc on 0.27821 Blow molding 0.00466 kWh PET preform transporta on OH to

PET preform transporta on OH to OH

on 0.27821 Blow molding 0.00466 kWh PET preform transporta on OH to OH PET bo le

PET bo le transporta on

OH

to TN

on OH to OH PET bo le transporta on OH to TN Other inputs Label Low-density

Other inputs

Label

Low-density polyethylene (LPDE) produc on

Distribu on and market

Refrigera on at Market 0.03744 kWh

Distribu on to Storage (from TN

to CA, TX, and NJ)

1784 km

Storage to Market

400 km

Use

Consumer Vehicle

Transport 0.27504

km

Refrigera on 0.10884 kWh

Bo led water produc on and use

Injec on molding 0.0216 kg Transporta on of caps 1170 km Stretch blow molding 0.0156
Injec on molding 0.0216 kg Transporta on of caps 1170 km Stretch blow molding 0.0156

Injec on molding 0.0216 kg

Transporta on of caps 1170 km

on molding 0.0216 kg Transporta on of caps 1170 km Stretch blow molding 0.0156 kg Transporta
on molding 0.0216 kg Transporta on of caps 1170 km Stretch blow molding 0.0156 kg Transporta

Stretch blow molding 0.0156 kg

Transporta on of LPDE Label 1170

Cap

Polypropylene (PP) produc on 0.0216

LPDE Label 1170 Cap Polypropylene (PP) produc on 0.0216 Transporta on of cardboard NJ to NT
LPDE Label 1170 Cap Polypropylene (PP) produc on 0.0216 Transporta on of cardboard NJ to NT

Transporta on of cardboard NJ to NT 1170 km

Packaging Plas c manufacturing 0.0184 kg

Extrusion plas c film 0.059 kg

Transporta on of packing plas cs km

Packaging

materials

Packaging

Cardboard

c film 0.059 kg Transporta on of packing plas cs km Packaging materials Packaging Cardboard

Disposal

ENSO bo le Disposal

Hauling Truck 72 km

Plas c waste in landfill 0.0556 kg

Cardboard waste in landfill 0.0599 g

Electricity genera on

0.12061 kWh

CH4, CO2

PLA bo le Disposal

Hauling Truck 72 km

Plas c waste in landfill 0.0556 kg

Cardboard waste in landfill 0.0599 kg

Electricity genera on

0.12061 kWh

Recycled PET bo le disposal

Hauling Truck 72 km

Plas c waste in landfill 0.0556 kg

Cardboard waste in landfill 0.0599 kg

Recycled PET bo le disposal

Hauling Truck 72 km

Plas c waste in landfill 0.334 kg

Cardboard waste in landfill 0.0599 kg

PLA Resin produc on 0.3 kg

Blow molding 0.00466 kWh

PLA Resin transporta on

Water filling

Water Produc on 5.7493 kg

Water Injec on 0 00978 kWh

Product Assembly

Product Packaging

Fig. 1. Flow diagram of system boundary.

The bottle manufacturing includes the plastic polymer/resin manufacturing, preform manufacturing, and blowing preforms to bottles. These three steps may occur at different locations. Based on the information provided by the Green2O Company, they purchase PLA preform and ENSO preform from the same vendor located in Dayton, OH. However, the commercialized PLA resin is only provided by NatureWorks, located in Min- nesota. When modeling the LCI, transportation for PLA resin requires traveling from Minnesota to Ohio where bottle pre- forms vendor is located. The preforms were then assumed to

be transported to Tennessee, blown into bottles, and filled with spring water before the final product, i.e., Green2O bottled water, was packed and distributed. Similarly to the PLA bottle, the ENSO bottle requires the additive which is produced in Ari- zona. The study assumed the plastic resin with ENSO additive was made in Arizona. The LCI modeled the transportation for the ENSO resin from Arizona to Ohio to make ENSO preforms, and then to Tennessee where spring water is filled into ENSO bottles. All the distances inputted into the model are shown in Table 2 .

4 Table 1 Direct inputs and outputs of each type of bottle. N. Horowitz et

4

Table 1 Direct inputs and outputs of each type of bottle.

N. Horowitz et al. / Waste Management xxx (2018) xxx–xxx

 

Unit

Recycled PET

PLA

ENSO

Regular PET

Direct inputs

PET

kg

0.278

0

0.275

0.278

Packaging Film

kg

0.0184

0.0184

0.0184

0.0184

PLA

kg

0

0.3

0

0

ENSO Additive

kg

0

0

0.00278

0

LPDE

kg

0.0156

0.0156

0.0156

0.0156

PP

kg

0.0216

0.0216

0.0216

0.0216

Cardboard

kg

0.0599

0.0599

0.0599

0.0599

Water

kg

0.479

0.479

0.479

0.4791

Transportation

km

3156

3975

5719

3292

Direct discharge/emissions

Carbon Dioxide

kg CO 2 eq kWh kg CH 4 eq kg

0

0

0.786

0

Electricity

0

0

1.206

0

Methane

0

0

0.292

0

Waste Stream

0.0556

0.356

0.334

0.334

Table 2 The distance traveled during each process.

 

PLA

ENSO

Recycled PET

Regular PET

Polymer manufacturer

Minnetonka, MI

Mesa, AZ

Bowling Green, OH Average 61.6 km Holland, OH and Manchester, MI Average 839 km Dandridge, TN

Columbus, OH

Preform

manufacturer

1148 km

2892 km

237

km

 

Dayton, OH

Dayton, OH

Holland, OH

Filler

571 km

571 km

799

km

Dandridge, TN

Dandridge, TN

Dandridge, TN

+ Distribution centers Distribution center to stores * Stores to consumers Disposal

1784 km + (California, Texas and New Jersey) 400 km

 

0.27 km

72 km

+ The average distance from Tennessee to California, Texas, and New Jersey was found to be 1784 km (as shown in the table below). * Distance for consumers was calculated on the basis that supplementary items besides the water bottles were bought together. The average distance dri ven to the store was taken to be 27 km. The quantity of water bottles compared to the entire purchase was assumed to be 1%.

Green2O purchases regular PET and recycled PET preforms from a vendor located in Holland, OH. As the vendor did not provide detailed information on their supply chain, this study made an assumption that the regular PET and recycled PET plastic resin were produced locally. As a result, the 100% recycled PET bottle and regular PET bottle do not require a large amount of plastic resin transportation to the bottle preform manufacturers. In the LCI, the preforms were made in Ohio and then transported to Ten- nessee for water filling. All the bottle manufacturing and trans- portation scenarios were based on the actual vendors and supply chains proposed by the Green2O Company, seen in Table 2 . Disposal was also different regarding each bottle in this study. The 100% recycled PET bottle was assumed to be sorted out from other wastes at the landfills, shredded into flakes and pellets, and sent to the manufacturers to mold the PET pellets and make bottle preforms. This study also assumed landfills were located close to the recycled PET resin manufacturers in Ohio, therefore, the trans- portation of PET pellets to the resin makers were not incorporated into the model. The regular PET bottles were assumed to be disposed of in land- fills, and to not degrade for millennia. Therefore, the regular PET bottles did not release emissions, albeit they could raise other envi- ronmental impacts such as ecotoxicity and land occupation. PLA bottles were assumed to be disposed of in landfills and compostable but not degradable under standard landfill conditions ( Royte, 2006 ). The emissions released from PLA bottles were not accounted for in the final impact assessment because the carbon in PLA was extracted from the atmosphere in the corn growing stage. The emission from the ENSO bottles degrading in landfills were assumed to be recaptured and converted into electricity. The calcu- lation of emissions was based on information provided by the ENSO manufacturer and is further explained in the SI. The ENSO

plastics contain 62.5 wt% of carbon, which was assumed to be decomposed entirely in a landfill and converted to either CO 2 or CH 4 . The study then assumed half of total carbon emissions were CH 4 , in which 90% would be captured to generate electricity and 10% would escape into the air. The electricity generation was based on the quantity of captured CH 4 and the biogas combustion effi- ciency (35% per MJ CH 4 combusted) provided in the GREET model. The total emissions of ENSO bottle disposal in landfills included CO 2 from plastic decomposition, the CH 4 released to air, and emis- sions from biogas combustion. Those emissions were counted into the final impacts because they were derived from petroleum-based fossil fuels. The electricity generated was treated as a benefit in the LCI, in which the impacts of electricity generated were subtracted from the total impacts of the ENSO bottle. In regards to the packaging, this study assumed that all the packaging cardboard was disposed of in landfills and degraded. The bottle’s cap, label and plastic film/wrap disposed in landfills were assumed to not be biodegradable. The caps were composed of polypropylene (PP) and the labels and plastic film/wrap and were composed of low density polyethylene (LPDE).

2.3. Life cycle impact analysis (LCIA)

The Life Cycle Impact Analysis (LCIA) stage, aimed at comprehending and analyzing the data for significance in possible environmental impacts in a system. Impact 2002+ (IMPact Assessment of Chemical Toxics) analysis method was applied in the LCIA using SimaPro 8. The categories analyzed included carcino- gens (kg C 2 H 3 Cl eq), non-carcinogens (kg C 2 H 3 Cl eq), respiratory inorganics (kg PM2.5 eq), ozone layer depletion (kg CFC-11 eq), res- piratory organics (kg C 2 H 4 eq), aquatic ecotoxicity (kg TEG soil), ter- restrial ecotoxicity (kg TEG soil), terrestrial acidification/

Please cite this article in press as: Horowitz, N., et al. Life cycle assessment of bottled water: A case study of Green2O products. Waste Management (2 018),

N. Horowitz et al. / Waste Management xxx (2018) xxx–xxx 5 nutrification (kg SO 2

N. Horowitz et al. / Waste Management xxx (2018) xxx–xxx

5

nutrification (kg SO 2 eq), land occupation (m2org arable), aquatic acidification (kg SO 2 eq), aquatic eutrophication (kg PO 4 P-lim), glo- bal warming (kg CO 2 eq), non-renewable energy (MJ primary) and mineral extraction (MJ surplus). The impact of nonrenewable energy counted the primary energy use, which included petroleum, natural gas and coal. Climate change was characterized by utilizing CO 2 equivalency, with 100 years developed by the Intergovernmen- tal Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Greenhouse gases, such as CO 2 , CH 4 and N 2 O, were converted to CO 2 equivalency to create a sum total of global warming potential. Acidification was accounted for using SO 2 equivalents, which included NO x and NH 3 . The eutrophi- cation included discharges of nutrients, mainly nitrogen and phos- phorus, into water bodies. The definition and calculation of other impacts can be found in Impacts 2000+ as well.

3. Results and discussion

3.1. Environmental impacts of bottled water with different bottle materials

LCA contains categories with units measuring each impact cate- gory. Each category may not be compared to each other (i.e. car- cinogenics and eutrophication), albeit, each category within the stage/bottle may be compared to the identical category in a differ- ent stage/bottle (i.e. carcinogenics in PLA and carcinogenics in ENSO). The data may be analyzed both in terms of impacts within each stage for each bottle that contributes the greatest to the envi- ronmental impact, as well as the sum of the impacts for each stage to compare the total impacts of each bottle. As such, the data can depict both the bottle that has the highest impact on the environ- ment, as well as the stage in each bottle that contributes the most to impacting the environment. The data for each impact category was analyzed and compared to each other. The total impacts of four types of bottled water are shown in Table 3 and the impacts of dif- ferent production stages of each bottle type are shown in Fig. 2 .

3.1.1. Carcinogens, non-carcinogens and respiratory effects The carcinogens, non-carcinogens and respiratory effects are all environmental impacts juxtaposed alongside human health. The results showed that the carcinogens were highest for the regular PET bottle, with a value of 0.411 kg C 2 H 3 Cl eq. A close second in the category of carcinogens was the ENSO bottle, with a value of 0.355 kg C 2 H 3 Cl eq. The carcinogens of regular PET and ENSO were

4–7 times greater than for the PLA and recycled PET bottles. The stage that contains the highest impact in carcinogens for the regu- lar PET bottle was the bottle manufacturing stage, with a value of 91.1% of all the stages. The highest stage for the ENSO bottle was also the bottle manufacturing stage, which constitutes 105.9% of the category. A value over 100% was attained due to the disposal stage having a negative impact of 0.0553 C 2 H 3 Cl eq. As the PET resin manufacturing usually releases high carcinogens, the regular PET and ENSO bottles were high in this category because they both contain high petroleum based PET. The non-carcinogenics of the four bottles were close to each other, ranging from the highest for the PLA bottle with a value of 0.178 C 2 H 3 Cl eq. to the lowest for the ENSO bottle of 0.164 C 2 H 3 Cl eq. Non-carcinogenics was highest in the stage of the distribution to storage for all four bottles, with a second value in the bottle man- ufacturing and a third of the customer use stage. The sum of the three categories amounted to 89% of the category. As the electricity generation has a high non-carcinogen release, the higher impact occurs in stages using more electricity than others. The product dis- tribution and the customer use stages used electricity for refrigera- tors and storage, which raised higher impacts on non-carcinogens. In addition, the fossil use in transportation raised non- carcinogenics impact, particularly in the distribution to storage stage. Respiratory inorganics was highest for the regular PET bottle, with a value of 0.00446 kg PM2.5 eq., followed by the PLA bottle, with a value of 0.00426 kg PM2.5 eq. Whereas, the respiratory organics were highest for the ENSO bottle with a value of 0.0035 kg C 2 H 4 eq, albeit, it was the lowest in respiratory inorganics with a value of 0.00389 kg C 2 H 4 eq. The stages which contributed to the regular PET bottle’s impact in respiratory inorganics was 42.6% due to the distribution to storage stage, and 40.1% due to the bottle manufacturing stage. Respiratory organics was primarily due to the disposal stage in the ENSO bottle, with a value of 0.00167 kg C 2 H 4 eq. The high impact during the disposal stage was likely due to the release of organic chemicals into the atmosphere during the decomposition of the bottle in a landfill.

3.1.2. Ozone layer depletion The ozone layer lies in the Earth’s atmosphere and plays a crit- ical role in protecting live forms from strong ultraviolet radiation emanating from the sun. Ultraviolet radiation has the capacity to destroy organic matter and, in humans, can lead to cancer and cat- aracts. Certain substances break down the ozone layer, which is

Table 3 LCIA results of the bottled water with different bottle materials.
Table 3
LCIA results of the bottled water with different bottle materials.

The bottle that raises the highest and 2nd highest impact in each impact categories are highlighted.

6 N. Horowitz et al. / Waste Management xxx (2018) xxx–xxx Fig. 2. Life cycle

6

N. Horowitz et al. / Waste Management xxx (2018) xxx–xxx

6 N. Horowitz et al. / Waste Management xxx (2018) xxx–xxx Fig. 2. Life cycle impacts

Fig. 2. Life cycle impacts in life cycle stages of the four bottles. A. Impact category percent composition for each PLA bottle. B. Impact category percent com position for each 100% recycled PET bottle. C. Impact category percent composition for each regular PET bottle. D. Impact category percent composition for each ENSO bo ttle.

composed of three oxygens bonded together. These substances are popularly known as Ozone-Depleting Substances (ODS), and typi- cally contain anthropogenic chemicals composed of chlorine and bromine. In this study, the PLA bottle was found to have the high- est impact in this category with a value of 1.78 10 7 kg CFC-11 eq. The second highest bottle in this category was the regular PET bottle, with a value of 1.23 10 7 kg CFC-11 eq. The ozone layer depletion of the PLA bottle was 130 times the impact of the ENSO bottle and 2.2 times the impact of the recycled PET bottle. The pri- mary stage responsible for the high value is the bottle manufactur- ing stage, with a value of 87.0% of the impact category for the PLA bottle, and 63.9% for the regular PET bottle. This is because the polymer manufacturing raised high ODS. The ENSO bottle was the lowest in this category, containing a value of 1.36 10 9 kg CFC-11 eq. The stage that contributed the most positive impacts in the category for the ENSO bottle was bot- tle manufacturing, which constitutes more than 80% of the positive impacts for the ENSO bottle. The egregiously high value in the

bottle manufacturing stage is due to the electricity use for bottle manufacturing. However, the disposal stage accounted a value of 1.00 10 7 kg CFC-11 eq, without which, the total impact for the bottle would be 1.02 10 7 , as opposed to 1.36 10 9 . The enormous negative impact in the disposal stage has on the environment may have occurred because the methane was captured during the decomposition of the bottle which generates electricity and thus reduced the amount of ODS released into the environment when generating electricity.

3.1.3. Aquatic and terrestrial ecotoxicity Aquatic ecotoxicity and terrestrial ecotoxicity are poisonous substances released into the environment that are toxic to organ- isms. Aquatic ecotoxicity was highest for the PLA bottle, followed closely by the recycled PET bottle and the ENSO bottle, with values of 1138, 1118 and 1110 kg TEG water. These results demonstrated that the four bottles contributed very closely in quantity to the impact category of aquatic ecotoxicity. The life cycle stage which

Please cite this article in press as: Horowitz, N., et al. Life cycle assessment of bottled water: A case study of Green2O products. Waste Management (2 018),

N. Horowitz et al. / Waste Management xxx (2018) xxx–xxx 7 contributed the most to

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contributed the most to the aquatic ecotoxicity was the distribu- tion to storage, which was 77.8% of aquatic ecotoxicity for the recy- cled PET bottle, 76.5% of the PLA bottle and 80.3% of the regular PET bottle. This was caused by the use of transportation fuels in the product distribution. The results showed the aquatic ecotoxicity raised by the ENSO bottle was the highest in the distribution to storage stage, which was 79% of the category. However, there was also a negative impact of 47.4 kg TEG water for the ENSO bottle in the disposal stage, which was raised by the electricity generation from biogas. Terrestrial ecotoxicity was highest for the PLA bottle, with a value of 52.3 kg TEG soil. The high value was mainly due to the bot- tle manufacturing stage, which was 85.6% of the total impact cat- egory. Factors, such as pesticide runoff from corn production contributed to the PLA having high quantities in the impact cate- gories of ecotoxicity. In contrast, the recycled PET bottle was the lowest in the terrestrial ecotoxicity category with a value of 17.0 kg TEG soil. This is mainly because recycled material was reused after consumption, which diverted the wastes that can raise eco- toxicity in the landfills. The ENSO bottle was the second to lowest in terrestrial ecotoxicity, because it contained a negative impact value of 9.04 kg TEG water in the disposal stage. The negative value was caused by the electricity generation from biogas.

3.1.4. Aquatic and terrestrial acidification/nutrification

Aquatic and terrestrial acidification occurs when the environ- ment is affected by certain chemicals which leads to a lower than normal pH in that environment. Aquatic acidification regularly occurs when gases, such as CO 2 or SO 2 , are absorbed by the water and react to forms acidic compounds. When there is a higher than normal concentration of gases in the atmosphere, the ocean absorbs more gases and becomes more acidic. In aquatic acidifica- tion, the PLA, recycled PET and typical PET contained values of 0.0223, 0.0222 and 0.0217 kg SO 2 eq. The aquatic acidification of the ENSO bottle was not significant lower than other three. For all four bottles, the highest contributing stage was the distribution to storage, followed by bottle manufacturing. This was due to the fact that during distribution to storage the transportation fuels were consumed, which affected the ocean’s acidity by releasing gases, such as carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Those gases have the potential to be absorbed by the ocean and lower the pH of the water. Terrestrial ecotoxicity impact quantities for four bottles were not different significantly. Identical to aquatic acidification, all three bottles contained the highest contributing stage in the distri- bution to storage stage, with the second to highest being the bottle manufacturing stage.

3.1.5. Land occupation

Land occupation was the highest for the PLA bottle with a value of 0.233 m2org arable, approximately 4–5 times to other three bot- tles. The stage contributed the greatest to this high quantity for the PLA bottle was the bottle manufacturing stage with a value of 0.218 m2org arable, or 93.5% of the total PLA bottle land occupa- tion impact. Since the PLA polymer is corn based, which requires extensive arable land to grow and harvest a crop of corn, the bottle manufacturing stage of the PLA bottle was the biggest contributing factor to this impact. The ENSO bottle contains the smallest quan- tity in the category with a value of 0.0418 m2org arable. The low impact was due to the fact that the ENSO bottle is able to fully degrade once it is disposed of. In addition, the electricity genera- tion created a benefit in land occupation, which attributed to a

negative impact 9.08 10 3 m2org arable in the bottle disposal stage.

3.1.6. Aquatic eutrophication

Aquatic eutrophication occurs when there is an abundance of nutrients in a body of water, typically due to runoff, which results in an egregious amount of plant growth, and the death of zoologi-

cal organisms from oxygen deprivation. Aquatic eutrophication was the highest for the recycled PET bottle, followed by the regular PET bottle, the PLA bottle, and lastly, the ENSO bottle, with values of 4.57 10 4 , 3.82 10 4 , 3.72 10 4 and 2.92 10 4 kg PO 4 P-lim. The main stage that contributes to the recycled PET bottle having a higher magnitude in the category was the bottle manufac- turing stage, which is 80.2% of the impact category for the bottle. The processes of bottle sorting and cleaning contributed to the high eutrophication impact of recycled PET bottle. Out of expectation, the PLA bottle was not the highest in the eutrophication, although the fertilizers used to grow corn cause eutrophication.

3.1.7. Global warming potential

Greenhouse gases (GHGs), such as carbon dioxide and methane, are frequently released into the atmosphere by natural causes (i.e. volcanoes, respiration), and anthropogenic origins (i.e. automobiles and smokestacks), where they then become part of Earth’s atmo- sphere and help capture heat to warm the planet, therefore, the GHGs are used to evaluate the global warming impact. The ENSO bottle contained the highest quantity, 6.42 kg CO 2 eq, in this cate-

gory. A very likely explanation for the high GWP was the release of greenhouse gases as it decomposed in landfills, which contributed 46.8% of the total GWP for the ENSO bottle. The PLA bottle con- tained the second to lowest impact, 3.58 kg CO 2 eq, in this cate- gory, which was only 55% of the ENSO bottle. This is because the PLA bottle consists of corn, which is a plant that extrapolates CO 2 from the atmosphere for photosynthesis, thereby reducing the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere causing global warming. Finally, the recycled PET bottle had the lowest global warming impact with a value of 3.57 kg CO 2 eq. because it used recycle PET polymer and reduced the use of petroleum, a major contribu- tor to GHG emissions.

3.1.8. Non-renewable energy

Non-renewable energy is energy utilized that cannot, within a reasonable duration of time, be reused again, i.e. petroleum and coal. The typical PET bottle had the highest impact in this category, with a value of 69.4 MJ primary. The recycled PET and the ENSO bottle contained almost identical lowest impacts in this category, with values of 55.5 MJ primary. The distribution to storage and the bottle manufacturing were two stages contributing to this impact category, because electricity was used for polymer manu- facturing and fossil fuels were used for transportation.

3.1.9. Mineral extraction

Mineral extraction is a measurement of the amount of resources required to create each bottle. The bottle with the highest impact in the category of mineral extraction was the regular PET bottle with a value of 0.0840 MJ Surplus. The PET required continuous extraction of fossil fuels to create the bottle, which was confirmed by the highest stage impact being bottle manufacturing, and thus is likely why the regular PET bottle contained the highest impact in the category of mineral extraction. The PLA and ENSO bottles con- tained the median amount of impact in this category, likely due to the fact that they also required continuous extraction of resources. The recycled PET was the lowest in this category, with a value of 0.0236 MJ Surplus, because the polymer was a reused material, and thus required less mineral extraction than the other three bottles.

Please cite this article in press as: Horowitz, N., et al. Life cycle assessment of bottled water: A case study of Green2O products. Waste Management (2 018),

8 N. Horowitz et al. / Waste Management xxx (2018) xxx–xxx 3.2. Examination of four

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3.2. Examination of four bottles in the life cycle stages

The results showed the recycled PET bottle was the lowest in impact categories of carcinogens, terrestrial ecotoxicity, global warming potential, non-renewable energy, and mineral extraction. The PET recycling and reuse contributed significantly to reduce environmental impacts. Low values in carcinogens and terrestrial ecotoxicity occurred because the plastic was being reused, and thus less petroleum and additional chemicals were required to cre- ate the bottle. The non-renewable energy was lowest because less fossil fuel was required to make the polymer. In addition, the study assumed the PET bottles were recycled locally, which reduced fos- sil fuel use in polymer transportation and thus lowered down the non-renewable energy use. Land occupation of the recycled PET bottle may be second to lowest because the bottle was reused, and so no land was required as a landfill during the disposal stage. The recycled PET bottles resulted in three categories being the highest for the bottle manufacturing stage, four categories being the highest in the packaging of the recyclable PET bottles, and eight categories being the highest for the distribution to storage stage. The carcinogens may be higher for packaging than recycled PET manufacturing, because the recycled PET bottles are being made from recycled material, whereas the packaging is new raw material which must be extracted. Packaging may also be highest in mineral extraction since the materials to make the packaging must be new, whereas the material to make the bottle is previously extracted recycled material. The distribution to storage is highest in eight categories possibly due to the pollution emitted from automobiles in the distribution process. The recycled PET bottle manufacturing stage may be the highest in the remaining categories due to the energy required to assemble and form the bottle. The typical PET bottle was the highest in the categories of car- cinogens, respiratory inorganics, non-renewable energy, and min- eral extraction. It was also the second highest in other seven categories. The impacts of the regular PET bottle were raised mainly in the bottle manufacturing stage and product distribution stage, in which the petroleum was used for polymer manufacturing and for product transportation. The typical PET bottle resulted in seven of the highest categories being impacted by the bottle man- ufacturing and the remaining seven categories being the highest in the distribution process of the PET bottles. Contrary to the recycled PET, the regular PET does not contain the highest impacts from the packaging because the bottles are made from scratch each time in the bottle manufacturing stage as opposed to the 100% recycled PET bottles. The ENSO bottle had the highest values in the categories of res- piratory organics and global warming, and lowest in the categories non-carcinogens, respiratory inorganics, ozone layer depletion, aquatic and terrestrial acidification, land occupation and aquatic eutrophication. ENSO contained 99% of same material as regular PET, but impacts of ENSO were lower than regular PET signifi- cantly. As the ENSO decomposition can create biogas to generate electricity, the bottle disposal stage had negative impacts in all cat- egories. This contributed to the lower impacts of the ENSO bottle than other bottles. However, when the bottle degrades, it releases CO 2 and CH 4 into the atmosphere, which in turn intensifies the greenhouse effect. The bottle degradation in landfills also caused the highest respiratory organics. Similar to the regular PET, the ENSO raised impacts in the stages of bottle manufacturing and pro- duct distribution to storage. The LCI for the ENSO bottle demonstrated that the process of bottle manufacturing was the highest in seven categories, distribu- tion to storage in five categories, and disposal in two categories. Disposal was the highest in respiratory organics and global warm- ing because once it was brought into a landfill it degrades, releas- ing chemicals into the atmosphere. The distribution centers were

highest in non-carcinogens, respiratory inorganics, aquatic ecotox- icity, aquatic acidification and terrestrial acid/nutria. This may have occurred due to the pollution emitted from automobiles in the distribution process. The bottle manufacturing was the highest in the remaining categories because the ENSO bottle contains chemicals in order to make the additive, and new PET material to make the bottle. In this process the disposal was negative for many categories because some of the carbon dioxide and methane released is able to be recaptured and used as a co-product to gen- erate electricity, and thus it positively benefits the environment. Lastly, the PLA bottles demonstrated the worst environmental performance with the highest impacts in seven categories. The results showed that generating a product from natural materials was not necessary better than petroleum based or synthetic mate- rials. The PLA bottle resulted in the bottle manufacturing process and distribution to storage having the highest impacts in almost every category. The distribution of the PLA bottle to storage was the highest in non-carcinogens, respiratory inorganics, respiratory organics, aquatic ecotoxicity, terrestrial acidity/nutrificiation, aquatic acidification, global warming and non-renewable energy. This high impact was due to the automobile emissions released into the environment. Distribution, on the other hand, had abso- lutely no impact on the impact categories of land occupation or mineral extraction. A possible cause for the other impact categories being highest in bottle manufacturing is because the extraction of the materials, transport of materials to the factory, and assembly of materials, require an intensive amount of energy. The PLA bottle manufacturing composes approximately 93.5% of the land occupa- tion impact because the area to harvest corn requires an expansive area of land. The eutrophication category was impacted 83.0% from the bottle manufacturing process, which may be a result of the fer- tilizers applied to the corn crops. The PLA bottle manufacturing composes 82.6% of mineral extraction most likely as a result of the quantity of electricity required to create the bottles. A past study conducted by Groot and Borén found that PLA bot- tles resulted in significantly less emissions of greenhouse gases and usage of non-renewable energy when compared to fossil-based polymers, such as PET. The results found by Groot and Borén are consistent with the global warming potential and the non- renewable energy impacts found in this study. GWP and non-renewable energy impacts in both studies were lower than the regular PET alternative impacts. Madival, et al., conducted a life cycle assessment comparing PLA and PET clamshell containers. Their results found that PET contained higher impacts than PLA bottles in the categories of global warming, ozone layer depletion, aquatic eutrophication, aquatic ecotoxicity and land occupation, while PLA contained greater magnitudes for aquatic acidification, respiratory organics and respiratory inorganics. The data similar between these studies is that the GWP and aquatic eutrophication in PLA is lower than for the regular PET bottle, as well as that PLA contains higher impacts in the impact category aquatic acidifica- tion compared to the regular PET. These results may differ between each other due to the fact that clamshell containers and water bottles contain different additional components, such as packaging and labels, which may have led to contrasting results.

3.3. Analysis of bottles with combined materials

The LCA results showed the recycled PET and ENSO bottles are more environmental friendly bottles for bottled water production, whereas, the regular PET and PLA bottle are less environmentally favorable. Bottles are also able to be made by combining various materials. This study carried out an analysis to determine whether a more sustainable PET bottle would be able to be produced if the recycled PET resin and regular PET resin were mixed together in certain quantities to produce a bottle.

Please cite this article in press as: Horowitz, N., et al. Life cycle assessment of bottled water: A case study of Green2O products. Waste Management (2 018),

N. Horowitz et al. / Waste Management xxx (2018) xxx–xxx 9 Mineral extrac on Non-renewable

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Mineral extrac on Non-renewable energy Global warming Aqua c eutrophica on Aqua c acidifica on
Mineral extrac on
Non-renewable energy
Global warming
Aqua c eutrophica on
Aqua c acidifica on
Land occupa on
Terrestrial acid/nutri
Terrestrial ecotoxicity
Aqua c ecotoxicity
Respiratory organics
Ozone layer deple on
Respiratory inorganics
Non-carcinogens
Carcinogens
-25.00% -20.00% -15.00% -10.00%
-5.00%
0.00%
5.00%
10.00%
15.00%
20.00%
25.00%
Recyclable PET Bo le Manufacturing 10% R 90% N
Recyclable PET Bo le Manufacturing 50% R 50% N

Fig. 3. Sensitivity analysis on the recycled PET bottle and the regular PET bottle. Tornado diagram portraying the percent change in each impact category whe n the composition of materials each bottle is made with is changed. The base line is 30% R recycled PET and 70% of N normal/regular PET.

The analysis utilized the 30% recycled PET resin mixed with 70% regular PET as a baseline to compare the 10% recycled PET - 90% regular PET with the 50% recycled PET - 50% regular PET. Fig. 3 depicts the percent change in impact categories when there is a percent change in recyclable and regular PET resin. The analysis demonstrated that the more recycled PET, the greater the improve- ment for the impacts in the categories of carcinogens, respiratory inorganics, respiratory organics, terrestrial ecotoxicity, terrestrial acid/nutri, aquatic acidification, global warming, non-renewable energy and mineral extraction. Specifically, there were high improvements (>5%) in the categories of carcinogens, respiratory organics, global warming, and non-renewable energy, with modifi- cations of 5.85%, 19.94%, 5.89% and 10.17%. However, some impacts were increased, including non-carcinogens, ozone layer depletion, aquatic ecotoxicity, and aquatic eutrophication. The increases of those impacts were significant by 18%, 1.5%, 21%, and 24%. Land occupation was the one category that demonstrated a 0% change between the two variations of bottles. The results also showed that some impact categories were more likely to change than others when materials were mixed. Those impacts included eutrophication, aquatic ecotoxicity, respiratory organics, and non-carcinogens. The small change of combination ratios would raise high change of those impacts. Due to varying results, with some categories lowering while others increased, it is difficult to determine the best percentage of polymers to mix together to achieve a bottle with the least detrimental impacts on the environment since each category can- not be compared to each other in terms of degree of impact. Cer- tain impact categories may be more detrimental to the environment and/or humans, while other categories may cause lit- tle to no harm. Other measures such as a cost benefit analysis should be conducted to determine the best ratio of recycled PET with regular PET.

4. Conclusion

The study analyzed the Life Cycle Assessment for four types of water bottles in an effort to determine the impact each bottle has on the environment. The process found to compose most of the impacts for each bottle was the bottle manufacturing stage and the distribution to storage. The bottle manufacturing stage was composed of creating the materials for the bottles as well as shipping the material to be molded, which thus may have led to extremely high impacts for that stage. Distribution to storage was composed only of transportation, yet contained extremely high impacts because the transportation was assumed to be fueled by oil which caused many deleterious environmental impacts. These results are concordant with a study done by Gleick and Coo- ley who found that the total energy requirement for manufacturing and transporting the plastic bottles were both the most energy intensive stages. The high impacts in these two stages demonstrate that it may be possible to decrease human impacts on the environ- ment if material acquisition or transportation were more sustain- ably carried out. The transportation for the recycled PET and the regular PET during the bottle manufacturing stage was altogether 900.6 km and 1036 km, with only a 135.4 km difference, yet the bottle manufacturing stage had a percent difference in carcinogens of 182% and for mineral extraction of 154%. The continuous re- extraction of resources for the regular PET resin most likely led to the extremely high impacts in the bottle manufacturing stage. The LCIA of the four bottles showed that overall, each bottle had high impacts in various categories; however, the ENSO bottles had the lowest impacts in more categories, with 6/14 of the categories being the lowest compared to the other three bottles, and 2/14 being the highest. The 100% recycled PET bottle had the overall sec- ond to lowest impacts, with 4/14 of the smallest impacts in the cat- egories and 1/14 of the highest impacts, when compared to the

10 N. Horowitz et al. / Waste Management xxx (2018) xxx–xxx other three bottles. The

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other three bottles. The regular PET bottle contained mainly med- ian impacts compared to the other three bottles, but was the high- est in 4/14 of the impact categories and lowest in 1/14 of the categories compared to the other three bottles. While the PLA bot- tle was shown to have an extremely low impact in the carcinogens, respiratory organics and global warming categories, it still con- tained 7/14 of the highest impacts compared to the other three bottles. The use of more sustainable bottles, such as biodegradable ENSO bottles and recycled PET bottles, appears to be a viable option for decreasing humanity’s carbon footprint on the planet.

Appendix A. Supplementary material

Supplementary data associated with this article can be found, in

043 .

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