One study that we find ourselves coming back to over and over again, is “An environmental impact comparison of single-use and reusable thermally controlled shipping containers” by Goellner and Sparrow in the International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment.
It shows a cradle-to-grave life cycle assessment (LCA), covering material extraction, manufacture, assembly, usage, transportation, and end-of-life realities for three types of cold chain packaging in a common scenario:
- Single-use packaging using EPS insulation (polystyrene)
- Single-use packaging using PUR insulation (polyurethane)
- Reusable packaging using VIP insulation (vacuum-insulated panels)
The results are staggering - the reusable approach offered 75% less global warming potential, in addition to 95% less post-consumer waste.
We’re in the process of working through our own detailed LCAs for Artyc devices to compare! More on that coming in the next few months.
See the article in full here.