Introducing life cycle thinking to define best available techniques for products: Application to the anchovy canning industry
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AuthorLaso Cortabitarte, Jara; Margallo Blanco, María; Fullana i Palmer, Pere; Bala Gala, Alba; Gazulla Santos, Cristina; Irabien Gulías, José Ángel; Aldaco García, Rubén
This study presents a method based on life cycle assessment to reduce and simplify the decision-making process and to identify the best available techniques of a product. This procedure facilitates the selection of a technical alternative from an environmental point of view and the reduction of emission levels and the consumption of energy and primary resources. This method comprises the following four steps: (i) the identification of the current techniques of a specific product, (ii) the application of a life cycle assessment to determine the hot spots, (iii) the proposal of the best available techniques and (iv) the development of a best available techniques reference document (step not implemented in our case study). The Cantabrian anchovy canning industry is selected as a case study due to the importance of this sector from economic, social and touristic points of view. An entire life cycle assessment of one can of anchovies in extra virgin olive oil is conducted. The results indicated that the hot spots of the life cycle were the production of aluminium cans (for packaging) and extra virgin olive oil and the management of the packaging waste. According to these results, the study proposes several improvements, such as packaging recycling and several best available techniques for the canned anchovy product.