Journal of Resources and Ecology ›› 2022, Vol. 13 ›› Issue (3): 428-441.DOI: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2022.03.008

• Ecosystem Assessment • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Life Cycle Assessment of Biodegradable Polylactic Acid (PLA) Plastic Packaging Products—Taking Tianjin, China as a Case Study

ZHAO Menglei1(), YANG Zeng1, ZHAO Jingnan1,2,*(), WANG Yan1,2, MA Xiaolei1, GUO Jian1   

  1. 1. Mechanical Engineering College, Tianjin University of Science and Technology, Tianjin 300222, China
    2. Tianjin Key Laboratory of Integrated Design and On-line Monitoring for Light Industry & Food Machinery and Equipment, Tianjin 300222, China
  • Received:2020-11-12 Accepted:2021-10-20 Online:2022-05-30 Published:2022-04-18
  • Contact: ZHAO Jingnan
  • About author:ZHAO Menglei, E-mail:
  • Supported by:
    Tianjin Municipal Science and Technology Bureau(17JCYBJC42400);Tianjin Municipal Education Commission(2017KJ020);Tianjin Key Laboratory of Integrated Design and On-line Monitoring for Light Industry & Food Machinery and Equipment 2019(LIMFE08)


In this paper, the life cycle assessment (LCA) method is used to evaluate and quantify the energy consumption and environmental impacts of biodegradable polylactic acid (PLA) plastic packaging from the five stages of raw material acquisition, raw material transportation, product production, products use and final disposal. Seven impact categories were selected for the impact analysis: abiotic depletion potential fossil fuels (ADP), global warming potential (GWP), acidification potential (AP), eutrophication potential (EP), photochemical ozone formation potential (POCP), human toxicity potential (HTP), and terrestrial ecotoxicity potential (TETP). The results of the LCA are discussed and the results show that production of products is the highest stage of the environmental impact. Meanwhile, in the entire life cycle, the top three environmental impact categories are GWP, ADP and HTP, which account for 32.63%, 24.83% and 14.01%, respectively. The LCA results show that the environmental impact can be reduced in several ways: reducing the consumption of electricity, increasing the input of new energy, increasing the conversion rate of materials in the production process, using organic and water-soluble fertilizers instead of conventional fertilizers, using environment-friendly fuels and establishing a sound recycling system.

Key words: life cycle assessment, energy consumption, environmental impacts, polylactic acid, plastic packaging