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Kraft Cuts Packaging with Lifecycle Analysis

Kraft Foods cut the amount of plastic packaging in its YES Pack salad dressing by 60 percent using a lifecycle analysis system, the company has announced.

Kraft’s LCA centers around its Eco-Calculator, a proprietary tool that figures the percentage of post-consumer recycled material in a given package design, along with the amount of energy and carbon dioxide emissions required to create the package. Based on data from the EPA, the Department of Energy and packaging industry groups, the tool also tells packaging designers how efficiently they’re using materials and how well their designs will fit a product’s physical dimensions. Kraft considers the LCA results alongside other factors, such as economic feasibility and ability to manufacture, before deciding on a final design.

In the UK, Kraft’s Kenco coffee used this LCA to save reduce its Eco-Refill packaging’s carbon footprint by 70 percent, compared to its glass counterpart.

In the UK, Denmark, Norway and Sweden, Kraft’s LCA showed that it could reduce the carbon footprint of each Tassimo T Disc single-serve coffee pouch by about 20 percent, when upcycling the packages with partner TerraCycle.

And in Brazil, Kraft partnered with TerraCycle to upcycle more than one million drink pouches from its Tang powdered beverages into new consumer goods, such as pencil cases and composite lumber for building. Kraft’s LCA showed the TerraCycle pencil case used about 50 percent less primary energy, 99 percent less water input and 57 percent less CO2 emissions compared to a new cotton pencil case. Additionally, TerraCycle lumber used nearly 50 percent less primary energy and 14 percent less CO2 emissions when compared to typical recycled HDPE lumber.

In 2011, an environmental survey found more than 90 percent of Kraft’s carbon footprint comes from outside its plants and offices, and nearly 60 percent is from farm commodities. The company’s LCA builds on this multi-year footprinting project.

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