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Science

Safety and sustainability

Making life cycle assessments

A life cycle assessment, or LCA, can be used to assess the environmental impact of the manufacture and use of different materials and products.

Making a life cycle assessment

The articles that we use have three main life stages: manufacture, use and disposal. A life cycle assessment, or LCA, is a study of the stages in the life of a manufactured product.

Key features

Polymers have recycling symbols like this one for PVC to show what they are

Polymers have recycling symbols like this one for PVC to show what they are

The key features of a life cycle assessment include the following factors:

  • the main requirements for energy input
  • the environmental impact and sustainability of making the materials from natural resources
  • the environmental impact of making the product from the material
  • the environmental impact of using the product
  • the environmental impact of disposing of the product by incineration, landfill or recycling.

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