Write a report in APA format using a minimum of 700 words excluding cover, reference page and any appendices to address the following. A minimum of five reliable sources are required (see Note below).
In general peer-reviewed sources should be used. However in certain cases it may be acceptable to use sources that are not peer-reviewed but otherwise reliable or relevant. Examples include governmental websites or those of organizations affiliated with governments, annual reports and websites of organizations relevant to the work, or reputable trade journals. Dictionaries, Wikipedia, and Blogs are not acceptable.
Use section headings for each area discussed.
Reflecting on your work in Parts 1, 2 and 3 for the product and the whole process from “Cradle to Grave” or “Acquisition of Raw Materials to Disposal”:
PART 1&2 is done in the file attached below. Please take in reference of the document while writing the part 3.
Life Cycle Analysis on a Plastic Spoon
In this life cycle analysis, the paper will address the product plastic spoon. The dictionary defines a plastic spoon as cutlery that has been derived from either petroleum or a biologically-based polymer such as corn and it is intended to be utilized only once in its lifetime. Plastic spoons have provided convenience to customers given their portability and ease of access due to its cheap nature. Plastic spoons are used by people consuming various meals. For instance, consumers can use it during meals such as dinner, breakfast, and lunch. Plastic spoons are also used in eating desserts such as ice cream and fruit bowls. Given their convenience and cheap nature, plastic spoons have been famously used in restaurants, parties, and events that are flooded by a huge number of people. Plastic spoons are also packed for people who order take-outs as they are portable. Furthermore, it saves employees the time that could have been spent in cleaning cutlery since consumers can easily dispose the plastic spoons once they have used them.
The plastic spoon was selected for this life cycle analysis given its single use nature. Once used by one consumer, there are higher chances of the plastic spoon being disposed off in trash, never to be used again for its intended purpose. Furthermore, they are cheap to access and considered suitable for events and gatherings with huge populations of people. There have also been arguments that single-use plastics such as plastic spoons contribute significantly to pollution of land and water bodies. Therefore, it is important to understand its lifecycle and all the resources that have been invested in manufacturing the plastic spoon (Nguyen et al., 2022). From the existing research and published articles, it is possible to conduct a life cycle analysis on a plastic spoon. This paper, therefore, will provide a discussion on the life cycle analysis on a plastic spoon. This discussion will further be illustrated with a flow chat that is provided in part 2.
Figure 1 is a flow chart highlighting the life cycle analysis of a plastic spoon.
Acquisition of Raw Materials
Crude Oil mining
Manufacturing and Processing
Refining of Crude oil to remove impurities
Processing of crude oil into simpler components (hydrocarbons, organic compounds, inorganic compounds, metal)
Greenhouse gas emissions, soil disturbance, environmental degradation, deforestation, air pollution, solid waste and waste water production
Processing of plastic spoons
Distribution and transportation
Packaging materials such as carton boxes
Plastic spoons are mainly made from two types of plastics; polystyrene and polypropylene. For these plastics to exist, the key component, hydrocarbon, is required. Therefore, extraction of hydrocarbon as a raw material is achieved by harvesting fossil fuels. This is because hydrocarbons are constituents of either oil or natural gas. The extraction of crude oil (a fossil fuel) is achieved by conducting mining either on land or from drilling under the sea. For oil mining on land to take place, research has to be done to identify potential oil fields that are rich enough to support oil mining for several years. often, wells are drilled to access the oil reservoirs and the il extracted through three main methods, that is thermal recovery, gas injection, or chemical flooding. The crude oil is then transported via pipes to industries for manufacturing and processing (CAPP, 2022). Oil mining leads to soil disturbance, destruction of forests, air pollution, dust pollution, and the production/release of greenhouse gases back into the atmosphere.
Once reaching the manufacturing and processing industries, the crude oil is refined. At this stage, any other impurities are separated from crude oil and the only relevant products are retained. The refined crude oil is further processed into individual components that have different uses. Research has shown that crude oil is made up of organic compounds (S, N, O), hydrocarbons (C, H), metals, and other organic and inorganic compounds such as iron and potassium among others. The important crude oil component required for plastic spoon production are the hydrocarbons. After processing, therefore, the hydrocarbons are transferred to plastic spoons manufacturing companies where the manufacturing of plastic spoons begin (UNEP, 2021). The plastic spoons manufacturing companies require the hydrocarbons from crude oil, natural gas, wood, and small amounts of silicon and analase. Plastic spoon manufacturing is an energy intensive activity since the polymerization of plastics requires both chemical and electrical energy. Plasticizers and stabilizers are also used in the manufacturing to ensure that strong and quality plastic spoons are produced. This produces wastes such as solid waste, greenhouse gases, and waste water are realized (Kadekar, 2017).
Once production is done, the plastic spoons are packaged into carton boxes ready for transportation and distribution. Distribution and transportation from factories to retailers is achieved through air, road, railway, or water transport. This depends on the destination of the plastic spoons. For instance, countries may decide to import plastic spoons and this will be achieved through air, water, or railway transport. Nearby retailers usually receive the spoons through road transport. These modes of transport contribute to greenhouse gases emissions, an important polluter in the global warming process (Dordevic et al., 2021).
CAPP (2022). Oil Extraction. Accessed from https://www.capp.ca/oil/extraction/
Dordevic, D., Necasova, L., Antonic, B., Jancikova, S., & Tremlová, B. (2021). Plastic
cutlery alternative: Case study with biodegradable spoons. Foods, 10(7), 1612.
Nguyen, X. C., Dao, D. C., Nguyen, T. T., Tran, Q. B., Nguyen, T. T. H., Tuan, T. A., … &
Nguyen, D. D. (2022). Generation patterns and consumer behavior of single-use plastic towards plastic-free university campuses. Chemosphere, 291, 133059.
Kadekar, A. (2017). Triple Bottom Line Assessment of Single-use Disposable Plastic
UNEP (2021). United Nations Environment Programme (2021). Single-use plastic tableware
and its alternatives – Recommendations from Life Cycle Assessments
Life Cycle Assessment of Cardboard box: Part 3
Creating a Sustainable World
November 28, 2021
Dioxide emissions, fossil fuels, coal, and toxins
Labor energy, thermal electricity, renewable sources, and CPH energy are all examples of human energy.
Destroying them and selling them to HWRC are two options. To use as a raw material, it is dried, pulped, and then transformed into fibers.
Particles, temperature, co2, as well as other gasses are all sources of pollution.
Reuse / Recycle
Repurposed as dust collectors and packaging for household products. After being converted into fibers, it is recycled to create new products.
High temperature, energy, and chemical energy
Use of product
Grocery items, plastic products, fashion products, and other items are packaged in packaging.
Coal dust, resources and energy, and gasoline, to name a few.
Heating, power, energy production
The influence of raw material acquisition on disposal
Until recently, A4 paper has been the most widely used product. A4 is discovered to be employed for the packaging industry, meals, glass things, gadget items, and so on for each advertising reason. There are several environmental, economic, and societal implications from the procurement of raw materials for cardboard boxes through their disposal. A4 paper is a type of paper that is created from wood pulp. Deforestation is a process that occurs during the exploitation of raw resources. Many trees are felled, damaged, and chopped into little bits. The raw materials are subsequently made into papers, which are then pressed in steam to create ridged rollers. These rolls are used to apply glue to both sides of the flute and adhere the two side sheets to construct A4. Then these walls are gathered and joined together in a cuboidal pattern to make boxes with two open ends on each side.
Deforestation is required for the extraction of raw resources, which affects the environment of wild animals. The manufacturing and industrial processes used to make papers release dangerous gases such as CO2, which have an impact on the environment. Similarly, once the item is ready to be released, transmission is necessary, which releases noxious gases that pollute the air. Many A4size paper are recycled, but some are used as firewood, which depletes the ozone layer and sends out a red signal to all living things. According to Favero, Thomas, and Luettgen (Jan 2019), 'Global warming' is by far the most often cited metric, which calculates the amount of Greenhouse gases per ton of paper made in CO2 equivalents. In one study, bagasse had a negative value (positive environmental benefits), but hemp had the highest global warming estimation of the fibers investigated.' The research includes pulp manufacturing, which significantly boosts hemp's stated benefits on all three aspects: ecological, community, and economics. Both hemp studies compared hemp to eucalyptus, and the results were consistent with previous studies, demonstrating that the higher temperature results aren't the product of a deliberate mistake. According to Pavoni, Hagerty, and Lee (1972), 'A product's capacity to inflict damage once it enters a susceptible location in or on the body is referred to as toxicity in humans.' As a result, the relevance of a waste's pollutant value cannot be overstated. This sort of assault, which might be caused by a waste's human toxicity, could happen before or during landfill disposal. These types of threats will have to be faced by our planet.
Technological advancements to lessen the impact on the environment, economy, and society
As natural resource deterioration and pollution expand on a global scale, environmental concerns are restricting economic development and economic policy decision-making. In order to establish a community with a bright future, economic growth has emerged as a vital component. As a response, in 2009, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Progress (OECD) proposed green growth, arguing that natural resources can continue to provide important assets and ecological benefits for social health while simultaneously promoting industrial prosperity. Li (2019), states that, ‘the bulk of specialists feel that medical and technological advancements may lead to greener technologies and more efficiency.' That is to say, technological advancement will help to promote long-term economic effects on growth nature conservation.’
Moreover, new advances is viewed as a crucial driver of the sustainable future since it promotes the growth of innovative industries, improves energy capital allocation, and decreases pollutant emissions. The view of the limited fossil fuel supplies and environmental harm, the goal of sustainable development has become a shared goal of all countries. Green Total Factor Performance is a green productivity metric that takes into account both trade and environmental preservation. This is also a strategy for advancing the country's economic and social conditioning long-term economic and social growth. Technological innovation can help decrease the consequences we discussed above from all angles.
Pavoni, L. J., Hagerty, J. D., & Lee, E. R (December 1972). Environmental Impact and Evaluation of waste disposal. Journal of American Water Resources Association, 8(6),
Life cycle framework. (2018). Environmental Life Cycle Analysis, 29–42. https://doi.org/10.1201/9780203757031-7
Williams, C. M., Chick, W. D., & Sinclair, B. J. (2015). A cross-seasonal perspective on local adaptation: metabolic plasticity mediates responses to winter in a thermal-generalist moth. Functional Ecology, 29(4), 549–561. https://www.jstor.org/stable/48576537
Use and Disposal of a Latex Condom
LCA of a latex condom
Condoms are by far the most regularly used means of contraceptive nowadays. Form of contraception procedures assist to prevent unwanted pregnancies. This implies employing condoms is effectively a way of preventing pregnancy. Nevertheless, while family planning may well be the prime objective, a condom is indeed able to deliver additional value to the consumers. Such a benefit is prevention against sexually transmissible illnesses or STIs (Yarber et al., 2005).
A condom has indeed been regarded as the bodysuit, the latex, as well as the nightcap. The employment of condoms for varied reasons has contributed to its gradual change into the standard latex variety that is frequently used nowadays. Condoms seem to be a topic of interest all through time. The notion of protected sex has indeed been investigated throughout ancient and contemporary times, and has already been utilized to avoid venereal infections.
Use of a condom
A significant assumption that could be derived through medical records is that society always has found a means to cope with its issues in contraceptive methods and sexual transmission illnesses, as it has afflicted individuals of all ethnicity, religion, region, and creed. This revolutionary technology has achieved such prominence that an estimate of 18 billion condoms is anticipated to be employed in 2015 altogether. Condom sales are projected to top 35 billion pieces in 2020, making it probably the most common form of contraception in the world (Harvey, 1994). In order to so, a huge number of latex trees are extracted, which results in the drying of the latex trees. Similarly, the fuel used in order to run the plants for the production is ginormous as well. The worldwide condom industry has grown as a result of aspects such as rising consumption from emerging economies, the launching of advanced varieties such as flavoured condoms, as well as an expansion in advertising and exposure of these items online.
Disposal of Condoms
Male and female contraceptives cannot be reused or recycled in the strictest sense, which means that every condom should only be employed once. (Several people think that they might rinse out all the contraceptives and then use it, but this is neither valid or suggested.) It's up for debate as to whether or not condoms can be recycled. Because condoms come into touch with human sperm, that cannot be readily separated and hence cannot be recycled, there have been no condom recycling initiatives.
What Happens to Our Used Condoms When There's No Way to Recycle Them?
Condom latex degrades naturally in the environment. Rubber tree fluid is the source of latex, a natural material. Latex condoms, for most half, can indeed be deconstructed. Condoms covered with intimate lubricants or contraceptive sponge may be more difficult to disintegrate, making the procedure more difficult. The far more essential thing to remember would be to never drain a condom. This is due to a number of factors. Latex is not biodegradable anymore after it has been exposed to water. Putting condoms to dumps is an unpleasant experience for environmentalists, but it is the safest and most efficient method of disposing of old condoms. However, the used condoms produce a huge amount of waste in the environment, since it takes a large amount of time to disintegrate. Hence, the energy used for the transportation of used condoms and the used condoms itself are the waste in the environment. Similarly, condoms thrown down the toilet may cause clogs in your pipes, which can be costly to replace. The use and disposal of a condom can be portrayed in the flow chart in the figure 1.
Distribution in foreign countries
– condom dipping lines
– electronic testing machines
-equipment for the measurement of burst volume and burst pressure
– machine for the detection of pinholes
Disposal (Used Condoms & toilet Paper)
To the customers
Use of condoms
(Used Condoms, Toilet paper, fuel & energy)
Figure 1: Flowchart of use and disposal of condoms
The manufacturing process of natural latex condoms has a huge impact on the environment, as it results in global warming and photochemical oxidation. Similarly, the production process also has a significant role in eutrophication (Jawjit et al., 2021). Similarly, breakdown is delayed due to the use of contaminated latex inside the most of condoms, composting condoms may take quite some time, even if the rubber or latex is inherently compostable. The fact that perhaps a latex condom is mainly composed from organic substances, notwithstanding the additives, means that it may biodegrade after many years, maybe even up to a thousand years, under the correct circumstances. Contrary to popular belief, condoms are significantly more environmentally friendly than not using one, since they serve the main aim of stopping the transmission of sexually transmissible illnesses and unintended pregnancies. As long as latex is deemed biodegradable this could take up to four years for the material's breakdown. Before they decay, they may also do impact to the ecosystem.
A huge portion of the consumers have been doing other than the proper disposal of the condoms. Maybe most crucially, flushing a condom. Because of this, there are a number of causes. Latex is no anymore biodegradable after it has been exposed to water. Condoms dumped down the toilet can cause clogs in the plumbing, which can be costly to fix. Despite the fact that ejected condoms are typically recognized and thrown at the start of the water recycle, when they're not detected, they may wind up in the waterways. It is possible for condoms to reach to the rivers and ocean if they travel with some other water pollutants (Coleman, 1981). Moreover, until recently, it was believed that condoms were wrapped in toilet paper before being thrown away. One gross of condoms equalled 3.46 g of paper weight for the calculations. The environmental consequences of the manufacture of toilet roll must also be determined.
Impacts on economy and society
On the contrary, condoms can be considered as a boon, as it helps to prevent unwanted pregnancy and enables safer sex, while being cheap and causing minimal to none health hazards for its consumers. In 2020, the population growth rate of the world was 1% in 2021, which means that nearly 70 million infants were born (Roser et al., 2019). Already the biocapacity of earth is exploited and in the absence of condoms, the population would have been even higher and the resources would have been fewer. Hence, condoms are very good for the society.
Definitely the condom manufacturing companies and the countries are profitable due to the popularity of the product. The worldwide condom industry was worth $6.76 billion during 2017 and is expected to rise substantially in the coming years as more people realize the need of condoms. By 2023, the worldwide condom industry was predicted to be worth $11.1 billion. Hence, condoms are a boon for both the society and the economy and has a slight impact on the environment.
Ways to reduce environmental impact
In natural rubber condom manufacture, minimizing power use is an essential method to lessen environmental implications. Numerous energy-saving methods may be employed, such as boosting the effectiveness of chillers, recuperating excess heat utilizing heat exchangers from the engine exhaust, and employing twin earlier in the dipping procedure. In a study done by Jajit et al., a blend of liquefied natural gas and electricity was applied, and its impacts were studied; this strategy resulting in 6–17% reductions in environmental damage. Entrepreneurs in Thailand must assess the whole environmental impact of their products in order to adhere to a national plan for achieving sustainability. Using the findings of the study done by Jajit et al., policymakers and condom producers alike might devise measures for lowering their devices' negative environmental effects. Such technological changes in the overall manufacturing process can significantly aid in the reduction of environmental impacts.
Harvey, P. D. (1994). The Impact of Condom Prices on Sales in Social Marketing Programs. Studies in Family Planning, 25(1), 52. https://doi.org/10.2307/2137989
Jawjit, W., Pavasant, P., Kroeze, C., & Tuffrey, J. (2021). Evaluation of the potential environmental impacts of condom production in Thailand. Journal of Integrative Environmental Sciences, 18(1), 89–114. https://doi.org/10.1080/1943815x.2021.1949354
Roser, M., Ortiz-Ospina, E., & Ritchie, H. (2019, May). World Population Growth. Our World in Data. https://ourworldindata.org/world-population-growth
Yarber, W. L., Milhausen, R. R., Crosby, R. A., & Torabi, M. R. (2005). Public Opinion about Condoms for HIV and STD Prevention: A Midwestern State Telephone Survey. Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, 37(3). https://www.jstor.org/stable/3650604
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