Research (Click on report title)

20th Anniversary Packaging Efficiency Study -- This study updates the original one prepared in 1995 and the follow-up in 2007. There are many new types of packaging on the market. But one thing hasn't changed: source reduction, or waste prevention, can play the dominant role in creating more sustainable packaging. Read the Report to learn how and why.

MARCH, 2014
Review of American & Canadian Study Examining the Impacts of Plastics on Life Cycle Energy Consumption --
This study examines the material, energy and greenhouse gas emissions impacts of plastics and plastics packaging. Results confirm the previous European study below. (Review the full study.)

Review of European Study Examining the Impacts of Plastics on Life Cycle Energy Consumption --
This study examines the energy and greenhouse gas emissions impacts of plastics and plastics packaging. One key finding is counter-intuitive, and the other confirms the study below. (Review the full study.)

JUNE, 2010
Review of LCI on 100% Postconsumer PET and LDPE Plastics -- The widely held belief is that recycled plastics have a reduced environmental footprint vs. their virgin counterparts. Science finally weighs in. (Review the full study.)

Three LCI Studies on Coffee, Tuna, and Milk Containers

Summary of Life Cycle Inventory (LCI) of Coffee Packaging -- Our latest Packaging Efficiency Study highlighted the value of flexible vs. rigid containers. To be able to draw firmer conclusions, Franklin Associates developed a more complete, peer-reviewed LCI that includes end-of-life data relating to recycling and disposal. (Review the full study.)

Summary of Life Cycle Inventory (LCI) of Tuna Packaging -- This research was performed on a variety of tuna containers. Results are eerily similar to those of the coffee study described above. (Review the full study.)


Addendum to Our Summary and Franklin Assoc. Study of Milk Containers--
A peer-review component to a previous study on milk containers, including revised data on reusable glass bottles. (Review the full study.)

Report on Field Trip to San Francisco to Assess Plastic Bag Ban
Is the ban on plastic bags having the intended results? Is less waste being created, is less material being used, and are more reusable totes being taken to market? This qualitative study covered consumer and retailer activities in the City's grocery and drug stores.

MARCH, 2008
Revised Analysis of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) Relating to Grocery Bags
This is an updated version of the study published in June 2007. It includes an additional peer reviewed study and no longer includes data subsequently removed from EPA websites. Additionally, data has been normalized to reflect differences in carrying capacity between paper and plastic bags.

Analysis of Life Cycle Inventory (LCI) Data Relating to Milk Containers

Which half gallon milk container produces the smallest environmental burden in terms of energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions or post-consumer waste creation -- the one produced from corn-based polymers, the typical high density polyethylene jug, the paperboard carton, or the glass bottle? The results will probably surprise you. Here's the original Franklin Associates Report.

Report on Environmental Differences Between PLA and PET, PP, PS is Reviewed by Us
Is the corn-based polymer PLA a more sustainable choice than traditional polymers? We examined a life cycle inventory (LCI) study that was commissioned to study this issue. The results might surprise

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