Life Cycle Management: Paper & Plastic Bags


This research performs life-cycle assessments on two products·plastic bags and paper bags. The two products are considered to be substitutes for one another, and the end objective of the life-cycle assessments performed on the two products is to compare the life-cycle costs of the two products for the purpose of recommending a production strategy for a company that produces bags.

A life-cycle assessment for paper bags is presented in the following section, and this presentation is followed by a presentation of a life-cycle assessment for plastic bags in the succeeding section. Following the presentations of the two life-cycle assessments, the two substitute products are compared with the emphasis being placed on the full costs of the products for the manufacturing company. Recommendations and conclusions based on this comparison are then presented.

Life cycle assessment attempts to measure the total environmental effects of a product "from cradle to grave." Proponents contend that life-cycle assessment can provide the information to assess tradeoffs throughout the life of every product.

Life-cycle assessment permits producing organizations to determine the environmental impact of both their products and the manufacturing processes used in the production of those goods. As manufacturing companies have experienced increasing pressures to minimize adverse environmental effects of all types, therefore, life-cycle



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