The products and services we buy and use on a daily basis add to our quality of life, but they also represent a large threat to the existence of earth as we know it. The awareness of our unsustainable way of life, our consumption of resources and the major impacts of these products and services on the environment is growing.
Life Cycle Thinking (LCT) is one way to reach the objectives of sustainable development. The main goal of life cycle thinking is to reduce resource use and emissions to the environment.
The life cycle of a product or service begins with extraction and processing of raw materials, continues through manufacture and distribution, use and consumption. The cycle is completed by re-use of products, recycling of materials, energy recovery and lastly disposal.
Úle Kirá is an attempt to apply the principles of sustainable development and life cycle thinking to the production sector of Costa Rica in an innovative way, more specifically to products in the food industry. Polypropylene packaging material has revolutionized the industry and the food storage, but it also generates large environmental impacts, especially when the packaging is discarded.
We carried out a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), a method used to determine all impacts associated with the different life cycle stages of a product or service, of the impacts related to polypropylene packaging waste during the initial phase of Úle Kirá to determine the change in environmental impacts when we use it to produce and avoid disposal. The results of this analysis show that the greatest benefit is achieved in the categories of consumption of fossil fuels and prevention of the generation of inorganic chemical pollutants and greenhouse gases.