Life Cycle Assessment as an investment tool in sustainability: the Dispotech case study

Dispotech is a manufacturer of single-use goods for the medical, dental and sports sectors. The company started a collaboration with Spinlife, a spinoff of the University of Padua, to calculate the environmental impacts of their products and establish strategies to create innovative and more sustainable goods. The study was developed through two main activities: the analysis of existing products and the development of new products with better environmental performance.

The first activity involved the life cycle analysis of two representative products: instant ice and polypropylene products such as napkins and napkin sheets. These goods were analysed by adopting the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) tool to analyse all environmental impacts from the initial stages of the product, such as the production of raw materials, to the final stages, such as distribution, use and end-of-life disposal. The objective was to identify what the relevant environmental impacts of these products were and from which phases of the life cycle they originated. This made it possible to identify areas for action and to establish investment strategies for reducing environmental impacts.

This study was initially carried out on existing products to identify their impacts. Subsequently, an Ecodesign analysis was carried out to develop new high-quality products with better environmental performance. This phase of the project was carried out with the collaboration of an external laboratory, which analysed the disposal process of the goods in order to reduce the environmental impact at the end of life. In particular, tests were carried out to improve the recyclability of both poly-bagged products and instant ice. For the former, the tests enabled Dispotech’s products to be recyclable in the paper collection system, thus contributing to the circularity of resources. This result was also achieved thanks to the application of a protective layer that guarantees the impermeability of the product and facilitates its sustainable disposal at the end of its life. As for the instant ice, an analysis was carried out to study whether the liquid contained could be reused as fertiliser for agricultural purposes instead of sending it for incineration. Initial results are encouraging and seem to demonstrate the possibility of using the liquid as an agricultural soil conditioner. However, technical and regulatory tests are still ongoing to ensure this performance.

Our collaboration has enabled Dispotech to bring new goods with improved environmental performance to the market.

For more information, watch the video made by Dispotech in collaboration with the experts of Spinlife: https://premium.dispotech.com/ecosostenibilit%C3%A0?utm_campaign=Dispotech%202023&utm_content=246967205&utm_medium=social&utm_source=linkedin&hss_channel=lcp-3510599