Study commissioned by MEIKO Maschinenbau GmbH & Co. KG, Offenburg, Germany

Life-cycle comparison of reusable and non-reusable crockery for mass catering in the USA

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The aim of the project was an evaluation of the ecological impacts of two systems, i.e. returnable and non-returnable crockery along the respective life stages. In methodological terms, the study is based on a product-related life cycle assessment in accordance with the requirements of the ISO standards for life cycle assessments.

As regards the procedure of the project, the following two-step approach was applied:

In the first phase, an exploratory life cycle assessment was conducted exclusively on the basis of secondary data and of assumptions which were reasonable in the circumstances.

In the second phase, in consultation with the Review Panel, a reasoned decision was taken over the processes for which the collection of primary data was essential, desirable or if appropriate even dispensable. In the second phase, the scope of the study was furthermore extended so that it could be published as an exhaustive standard life cycle analysis.