Life Cycle Assessment to evaluate sustainability of packaging

presentation by Yvonne van der Meer, Scientific co-director Aachen Maastricht Institute for Biobased Materials, Professor Sustainability of Chemicals and Materials, Maastricht University, at Online Packaging Design 4 Sustainability Conference (10 November 2020, 12:00 – 16:00 CET). REGISTER HERE to attend

Public concerns on the burden plastic packaging poses on the environment have induced policies to reduce single use plastics and to improve plastic waste management. This development is driving innovation in plastic packaging, e.g. by enhancing recyclability or increasing recycled content. To answer the question which innovations or solutions are favorable from an environmental point of view, Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is a valuable tool.

LCA can support decision makers in governments and industries to find solutions for the current environmental challenges by providing a quantification of the environmental impact of (circular) packaging innovations. This allows selecting and further developing solutions with superior environmental performance and avoids shifting (instead of improving) environmental impacts.


Yvonne van der Meer is professor at Maastricht University, holding the chair Sustainability of Chemicals and Materials at the Faculty of Science and Engineering. She is also scientific co-director of the Aachen Maastricht Institute for Biobased Materials (AMIBM). Yvonne received her master degree in molecular sciences from Wageningen University (1997). She obtained her PhD from Delft University of Technology in the field of molecular heterogeneous catalysis (2001). In 2008, she joined Maastricht University as a policy advisor to the executive board and was involved in the foundation of the Brightlands Chemelot Campus, AMIBM and the Chemelot Institute for Science and Technology (InSciTe). In 2015, she became associate professor to set up a new research group in AMIBM; in 2019 she was appointed full professor.

The Aachen-Maastricht Institute for Biobased Materials (AMIBM) is a cross-border, research institute of Maastricht University and RWTH Aachen University focusing on the development of advanced biobased materials. AMIBM strives for groundbreaking conversion of biomass to biobased materials and into product applications.
The research group Sustainability of Chemicals and Materials has expertise on sustainability assessment of chemicals and materials over their entire life cycle. The mission of the team is to provide suitable methods, metrics, tools, and accurate sustainability assessments of chemicals and materials. The ultimate goal is to support the transition to a sustainable, biobased and circular economy for future generations.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.