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Tom’s of Maine Life Cycle Assessment of Toothpaste Tube Materials

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Presentation on theme: "Tom’s of Maine Life Cycle Assessment of Toothpaste Tube Materials"— Presentation transcript:

1 Tom’s of Maine Life Cycle Assessment of Toothpaste Tube Materials
Conducted By: Sealed Air SmartLife® Sustainability Solutions

2 Project Objective The evaluation of the greenhouse gas emissions of two different toothpaste tube options Aluminum structure PBL Laminate structure

3 Project Use - This Life Cycle Assessment is prepared for the benefit of and use by Tom’s of Maine and any use of this Life Cycle Assessment or findings related thereto by any party other than Tom’s of Maine or Sealed Air Corporation is prohibited. Any use of the SEALED AIR trade name, SMARTLIFE trademark (or any other trademark owned by Sealed Air Corporation) without the specific written consent of Sealed Air Corporation is strictly prohibited.

4 Project Scope – Toothpaste Tube Study
This study is a cradle to grave LCA including raw materials (aluminum and plastics) transport, tube production phases, tube printing, secondary packaging production, distribution to Regional Distribution Centre and Dentist, and final disposal of the packaging (tubes and carton boxes). This study also includes the recycling of aluminum and plastic materials during the manufacturing phases (closed loop recycling). This study does not include toothpaste production and its use phase The LCA study was performed in line with the principles of the ISO standards 14040–14044 and critically reviewed by a third party. Results are were derived from publicly available sources as well as Tom’s of Maine products information.

5 Project – Toothpaste Tube Evaluation Boundaries
One (1) Aluminum tube contains g of toothpaste, one (1) PBL laminate tube contains 133g of toothpaste, the amount of materials included into the LCA have been calculated according the defined functional unit. The Functional Unit is the packaging needed to pack, protect and deliver 100g of toothpaste useful for brushing. This study does not include into its boundaries the toothpaste, for this reason the loss during the filling phase will not be taken into account. However, the fact that the two tubes deliver a different amount of toothpaste is an important point to be considered. The secondary packaging (unit carton cases and master box) is the same for the two options. The toothpaste production is not included here: its weight is taken into account for the determination of the transport contribution of the finished products from Tom’s of Maine production site to the regional Distribution Centre and the Dentists. An average distance of 1500 miles was considered for this transportation. Inventories, flowcharts and assumption are reported in the final attachments, were the source of assumption are also indicated.

6 Project – Toothpaste Tube Evaluation Boundaries

7 Project – Toothpaste Tube Evaluation Boundaries
Slugs Production The aluminum used for the production of slugs in the United States is typically made up of a mixture of newly produced and recycled aluminum*. Post consumer aluminum recycling in US in 2009 was 57.4% with almost 60 percent of the aluminum recycled coming from new scrap*. The resulting aluminum mix composition used for slugs production is reported in the table below: Aluminum, primary 42.6 % Aluminum, secondary, from new scrap (60%) 34.4 % Aluminum, secondary, from old scrap (40%) 23.0 % Aluminum recycling information was obtained by the U.S. Department of the Interior / U.S. Geological Survey and US Aluminum Association. The standard US production mix was obtained through the Ecoinvent database that has been adapted according this recycling percentage. .

8 Project – Toothpaste Tube Evaluation
Disposal Closed loop recycling was used in most of the internal processes were pure materials can be collected and reused in the same production phase (LLDPE, PP, Al). For the after use phase, a disposal scenario was created according the information reported in Municipal Solid Waste Generation, Recycling, and Disposal in the United States: Facts and Figures for 2008, EPA. They report a recycling of 33.2% of the wasted materials. The remaining part is land filled (81%) and incinerated (19%). Two specific disposal scenarios have been created for master boxes containing aluminum tubes and for those containing PBL tubes. According to the US Aluminum Association the post consuming aluminum recycling in US in 2009 was 57.4%. However in the case of the toothpaste tubes, a special recycling channel does not exist and the toothpaste tubes will follow the general waste scenario for US (81% landfill and 19% incineration). The disposal of the carton unit cases and corrugated master box follows the information received by Tom’s of Maine: 55% of the unit cardboard cases and 100% of the corrugated cardboard boxes are recycled.

9 Project – Toothpaste Tube Evaluation
The contributions of the single elements to the final impact of the functional unit are reported below: Tube pack CFP / 100g toothpaste Aluminum PBL laminate Kg CO2 eq % total 0.189 100 0.117 transport 0.0432 23 0.0418 36 disposal 0.0033 2 0.0050 4 carton case 0.0273 14 0.0294 25 tube 0.104 55 0.0284 24 secondary packaging (master box, bundling film) 6 0.0125 11 The partial contribution of the aluminum tube to the master box carbon footprint is 55%, while the PBL tube contributes for 24% to the total CFP of the old tube.

10 Project – Toothpaste Tube Evaluation
Greenhouse Gas Emissions Chart

11 Project – Toothpaste Tube Evaluation
The aluminum tube has a carbon footprint 3.7 times higher than the PBL tube. Adding the contribution of the other secondary packaging (unit cases, master box, wrapping film) and including the transport and the final disposal phase, this ratio is lowered to 1.6 times. Despite the long distance, the impact of transport of the PBL laminate from Mumbay to Virginia by ocean freighter is very low (0.95%, not indicated in the previous table). Considering 1 functional unit (a pack necessary to protect and deliver 100g of useful toothpaste), the switch from aluminum to plastic laminate lowers the carbon footprint of 38%. CFP index % / 100g toothpaste Old tube New tube New tube, no case total 100 62 42 toothpaste packaging 71 33 16 distribution 29 26

12 Project – Toothpaste Tube Evaluation
Greenhouse Gas Emission Index Chart Carbon footprint index (%) for toothpaste tube production and distribution:

13 Project – Toothpaste Tube Evaluation
GHG Emission Index Table Basing on the recommended use of 2g per brushing, the results can be expressed as something more meaningful in consumers’ daily lives, considering one brushing: CFP index % per brushing Old tube New tube total 100 62 transport 36 22 disposal 4 3 carton case 25 15 tube 24 secondary packaging 11 7 gCO2eq per brushing Old tube New tube Total 3.794 2.342 transport 0.864 0.8356 disposal 0.066 0.1004 carton case 0.546 0.588 tube 2.08 0.568 secondary packaging 0.2374 0.25 Note: the unit used here is gCO2 eq, instead of KgCO2 eq

14 Project – Toothpaste Tube Evaluation
GHG Emission Index Chart Electricity Use for 1 Toothpaste Tube Production

15 Project – Toothpaste Tube Evaluation
Questions regarding the Toothpaste Tube Study results of should be directed to Toms of Maine (insert contact info) For information on how Sealed Air SmartLife® Sustainability Solutions can help your company; Please call Or visit Sealed Air at

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