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Carbon Emissions of China’s Cement Packaging: Life Cycle Assessment

by Xiaowei Ma 1,2,3,4,*, Chuandong Li 1,2 and Bin Li 1,2
1
Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research, Beijing Institute of Technology, Beijing 100081, China
2
School of Management and Economics, Beijing Institute of Technology, Beijing 100081, China
3
Beijing Key Laboratory of Energy Economics and Environmental Management, Beijing 100081, China
4
Sustainable Development Research Institute for Economy and Society of Beijing, Beijing 100081, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2019, 11(20), 5554; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11205554
Received: 14 August 2019 / Revised: 4 October 2019 / Accepted: 5 October 2019 / Published: 9 October 2019
China is the largest producer of cement in the world. With this tremendous production of cement, the extensively used cement packaging embodies significant carbon dioxide emissions. However, this has scarcely been investigated. This paper presents the first investigation into three types of cement packaging in China using the life cycle assessment methodology. The carbon dioxide emissions in each production phase of cement packaging were calculated and compared to the emissions in the western, middle, and eastern regions in China. The results show that in the production phase, the consumption of electricity accounted for the highest proportion of total carbon dioxide emissions (23.39–35.14%), followed by the consumption of polypropylene-based material (23.39%). From a packaging perspective, laminated plastic woven bags emitted the most carbon dioxide (0.637 kg/bag), followed by paper–plastic composite bags (0.536 kg/bag) and paper bags (0.022 kg/bag). In regional terms, the western region emitted the most carbon dioxide (3.06 million tons) compared with the eastern (2.01 million tons) and middle (1.81 million tons) regions due to the low bulk rate. Our findings indicate that using paper–plastic composite bags instead of laminated plastic woven bags and using recycled materials instead of new materials in certain production phases can considerably reduce the environmental impacts of cement packaging. The government should encourage the use of non-coal energy power generation for the production phase. Further improvements could focus on the use of bulk cement instead of packaged cement. View Full-Text
Keywords: cement packaging; carbon dioxide emission; life cycle assessment; carbon emissions reduction cement packaging; carbon dioxide emission; life cycle assessment; carbon emissions reduction
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Ma, X.; Li, C.; Li, B. Carbon Emissions of China’s Cement Packaging: Life Cycle Assessment. Sustainability 2019, 11, 5554.

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