Environmental Project No. 2104, 2019

LCA of Single Use Plastic Products in Denmark


This study provides an environmental Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) for the production and waste management of Single Use Plastic Products (SUP) and Single Use Non Plastic Products (SUNP) in Denmark, in 2018.

The study was commissioned in order to assess a proposal by the European Commission, which aims to develop policies that could reduce marine littering in Europe. The proposal recommends the ban of specific SUP products, which role will instead be fulfilled by alternative SUNP products.

The results shows that the paper cotton buds (SUNP), the wooden cutlery (SUNP), the paper straws (SUNP option) and the wooden stirrers (SUNP) performed in average better or at least at the same level as the SUP in the baseline scenario. For food containers (plates or clamshell), the paper option (SUNP) was found to perform worse or at best the same as the polystyrene option (SUP) considering all the sensitivity scenarios assessed. Based on the abovementioned, it can be concluded that the weight can play an important role. Therefore, the design of the SUP might matter more than the shift to SUNP, and it is important that a shift to SUNP will be to lighter SUNP products.

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