Research paper

LCA of coffee consumption: comparison of single-serve coffee and bulk coffee brewing

Publication date: June 17, 2015
Organisation: Quantis

This study assessed the life cycle of brewing coffee using single-serve capsules or bulk coffee, from the extraction and processing of all raw materials to the end-of-life management of the coffee and packaging system.

According to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Resources Institute (WRI), one third of all food produced worldwide is wasted. In an effort to address the issue, PAC launched the PAC FOOD WASTE initiative to investigate the causes of food waste, identify innovative packaging solutions, extend product shelf life and inform and educate the broader community.

One of the initiative’s first projects aimed to elucidate the relationships between North American packaging and the causes of food waste along the food value chain through a life cycle assessment (LCA) of coffee systems whose key differences lie in their packaging and coffee brewing process.