I would like to help the owners of a pub (based in Milan, Italy) to decrease the environmental impact of the waste they produce.

My intent is to make them buy the same food content (especially drinks) by choosing the products with the most sustainable packaging.

They gave me the list of products they buy, with some alternatives for each food content type.

packaging   content         recycling symbol    volume (l)
bottle      tonic water     triangle PETE 1     1.0
bottle      lemon soda      triangle PETE 1     1.0
bottle      coca cola       triangle PETE 1     2.0
bottle      coca cola       triangle PETE 1     1.5
tin         fanta           exagon ALU          0.33
tin         coca cola       triangle ALU 41     0.33
tin         lemon soda      exagon ALU          0.33
tin         chinotto        circle ALU          0.33

Based on this data, how could I set up the analysis?

What's the best way to estimate what is the impact of a packaging on the recycling system of my town, and on the environment?

Should I use openLCA or is there a quicker and yet not too much proximate way to do the analysis.

  • 2
    I'm wondering where you'd get softdrinks in 33 ml cans. That's one-and-a-half shot. That aside, the basic idea is: The larger the volume, the lesser packaging is need. So, consider larger bottles & serving in glasses. Maybe even softdrinks from the tap. And take glas bottles into account.
    – Erik
    Commented Apr 29, 2020 at 14:04
  • Sorry there was an error in the volume column
    – Tms91
    Commented Apr 29, 2020 at 15:29
  • @Erik. I am okay with the basic idea, but I am wondering if different kinds of packagings for the same food could change by far its impact on the recycling process. Let's suppose for example that Trangle ALU 41 has an impact that is 3-4 times lower than triangle PETE 1, because in a certain time ALU is recycled 100% and plastic is recycled just 20%
    – Tms91
    Commented Apr 29, 2020 at 15:32
  • 1
    You also have to consider how energy-intensive the recycling process is, how far to the recycling facility etc.
    – Erik
    Commented Apr 29, 2020 at 19:04
  • @erik Thanks Eric, it's exactly one of the data I need. I have been looking for it but my city does not have official documentation about. I wonder if there are international laws forcing cities and countries to publish this kind of data..
    – Tms91
    Commented May 3, 2020 at 9:40

1 Answer 1


Have they considered post-mix soda/coke served in a glass? There's a significant up-front investment but in the long term it should pay for itself, but only if they sell a fair bit. I don't know how common this is in Italy, but it's the norm for pubs here in the UK. Pubs here do stock cans/bottles of less common soft drinks, as well as juices, but this would save a lot of packaging and disposal.

Dispensed premix is another option for smaller volumes, but I'm not familiar with it.

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