Cradle to grave environmental-economic analysis of tea life cycle in Iran

Soheili-Fard, Farshad and Kouchaki-Penchah, Hamed and Ghasemi Nejad Raini, Mahmoud and Chen, Guangnan (2018) Cradle to grave environmental-economic analysis of tea life cycle in Iran. Journal of Cleaner Production, 196. pp. 953-960. ISSN 0959-6526


Tea as the second most consumed none-alcoholic beverage in the world next to the water is involved
with considerable environmental impacts during its life cycle. Because of the high importance of the tea
sector in northern Iran, the present study aimed to assess the environmental burdens of tea in life cycle,
including green tea leaf production in the farm and its transportation to the factory, tea processing, tea
packaging, processed tea transportation to the local shop and its preparation in private household in
Guilan province, Iran. The hotspots of each stage were identified and then all of stages were combined
and different alternatives were compared. For this purpose, Life cycle assessment (LCA) approach was
used based on the ISO 14040 standard. CML-IA baseline method was applied for impact assessment. Also
the economic performance was assessed for green tea leaf and packaged black tea by calculating ecoefficiency
(EE) scores. Required input data were collected from 30 farms and 30 tea processing factories
in Lahijan and Langroud regions. LCA results showed that machinery and diesel fuel were the most
pollutant inputs in farm and factory, respectively. Tea green leaf production was identified as the major
contributor (57%) to environmental burdens in comparison with other steps throughout tea life cycle.
Two-layer packaging was found as the most pollutant scenario in comparison to other scenarios (onelayer,
three-layer and polyethylene packages). Cooktop was found to be more environment-friendly than
electric kettle. Low EE score for most impact categories indicated the necessity of reconsidering the
patterns for tea leaf production. For packaging scenarios, three-layer packaging had the highest net
income with lowest environmental impacts. Based on the modelled results, it is suggested that negative
environmental consequences of tea life cycle can be reduced by optimization of agro-chemicals uses such
as pesticides and chemical fertilizers in the farm, using natural gas instead of diesel fuel in tea processing
factory, applying three-layer packages for packaging black tea and using cooktop for boiling water.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Accepted version embargoed until 1 July 2019 (12 months), in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty / Department / School: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Civil Engineering and Surveying
Date Deposited: 26 Jun 2018 04:33
Last Modified: 28 Jun 2018 04:19
Uncontrolled Keywords: life cycle assessment; eco-efficiency; impact category; tea green leaf; processing factory; packaging; tea infusing
Fields of Research : 05 Environmental Sciences > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050204 Environmental Impact Assessment
Socio-Economic Objective: D Environment > 96 Environment > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960302 Climate Change Mitigation Strategies

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