Environmental performance of the polypropylene nonwoven shopping bags: LCA study of manufacturing technologies

Subramanian Senthilkannan Muthu, Y. Li, J. Y. Hu, Pik Yin Mok, Xiao Liao

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


The environmental performance of different types of polypropylene nonwoven shopping bags, made out of two different manufacturing technologies - conventional sewing method and a thermal joining method, later is a patented technology of the industry, where the study was made, was assessed from cradle to gate stage using the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) technique. For this study, three different products - A, B and C made out of conventional sewing method and thermal joining method were selected. This study was performed based on the comprehensive Life Cycle Inventory (LCI) of two different manufacturing sequences, obtained from a detailed in-field study in a nonwoven PP bag manufacturing industry. The environmental impacts were quantified by means of the Eco-indicator'99 method, a damage oriented method to assess Life Cycle Impact Assessment (LCIA) by using one of the leading commercial LCA softwares, SIMAPRO 7.2. The single score values calculated by the Eco-indicator 99 method were considered as a directive to compare the environmental impact made by these bags, manufactured by two different technologies and a detailed explanation of results is provided in this paper. From the results of Life Cycle Impact Assessment in Eco-indicator'99 method, the conventional sewing process technology seems to be better compared to the thermal technology employed. A detailed explanation of the results of the environmental performance of these bags and also the hot-spots in both of the production technologies are discussed to a greater extent in this article.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)409-424
Number of pages16
JournalEnergy Education Science and Technology Part A: Energy Science and Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2012


  • Eco-indicator'99
  • Nonwoven shopping bags
  • Polypropylene
  • Sewing technology
  • SIMAPRO 7.2
  • Thermal attachment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Energy


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