Comparative life cycle assessment of retort pouch and aluminum can for ready-to-eat bean packaging

GÜLÇİMEN S., Ozcan O., Çevik S. B., KAHRAMAN K., UZAL N.

Journal of Material Cycles and Waste Management, vol.25, no.6, pp.3723-3733, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 25 Issue: 6
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s10163-023-01791-9
  • Journal Name: Journal of Material Cycles and Waste Management
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, ABI/INFORM, Agricultural & Environmental Science Database, Compendex, Environment Index, INSPEC, Pollution Abstracts, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Page Numbers: pp.3723-3733
  • Keywords: Aluminum can, Food packaging, Life cycle assessment, Ready-to-eat bean, Retort pouch
  • Abdullah Gül University Affiliated: Yes


Since packaging contributes to severe environmental impacts in food production, alternatives of packaging materials that satisfy customer needs while minimizing environmental impacts in a cost-effective manner should be preferred for food product sustainability. This paper compares two different packaging materials (aluminum cans and retort pouches) with a life cycle approach to assess the environmental impacts of ready-to-eat bean packaging. The life cycle assessment (LCA) was used to define and compare the environmental performance of ready-to-eat beans in aluminum cans and retort pouches. The gate-to-gate approach was used in the LCA, with a functional unit of 1 kg of packaged ready-to-eat bean product. Inventory for packaging in retort pouch was created in collaboration with Duru Bulgur Company (Karaman, Turkey) and the data for ready-to-eat beans in the aluminum can were gathered from the literature. The findings show that ready-to-eat beans in retort pouches have lower environmental impacts than ready-to-eat beans in aluminum cans. The packaging and washing processes for both ready-to-eat beans packaged in aluminum cans and retort pouches had the greatest environmental impact. In ready-to-eat beans production, retort pouch provides 87% better environmental performance than aluminum can in terms of global warming (GW). Overall, the results demonstrated that replacing aluminum cans with retort pouches in ready-to-eat bean production can significantly reduce environmental effects in all impact categories. Graphical abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.]