ENVIRONMENTAL EVALUATION OF PORK MEAT CHAIN: A ROMANIAN CASE STUDY

Cristina GHINEA, Ana LEAHU

Abstract

The aim of this paper was to establish the environmental impacts of pork meat chain using life cycle assessment (LCA) methodology. For this study the system boundaries included: pig farm, slaughterhouse, meat processing, transport and waste treatment, which represent the main and secondary activities of a Romanian pork meat producer. All inputs and outputs data necessary for the inventory analysis were collected from this producer, GaBi database and other sources. The impact assessment phase was performed with GaBi software which includes LCA methods like CML2001 - Jan. 2016, ReCiPe 1.08, UBP 2013 and EDIP 2003. The results showed that pork meat chain has negative impact on the environment mainly contributing to the Acidification Potential (AP), Photochemical Ozone Creation Potential (POCP), Eutrophication Potential (EP) and Global Warming Potential (GWP 100 years). According to the results obtained with CML2001 - Jan. 2016 method, the main activities that contribute to global warming potential are manure storage (67.10%), central heating system (13.56%) and intensive pigs growth (9.59%). Similar results were obtained by applying of UBP 2013 method which indicated also that the manure storage is the main contributor to GWP (66%) followed by central heating system (14.33%) and intensive pigs’ growth (9.43%). Wastewater treatment is obvious the main contributor to ‘water pollutants’ category, while water consumption has a significant impact on ‘water resources’ according to UBP 2013 method. Resources like water and energy are necessary in very large quantities in meat production from which solid waste and wastewater result, thus increasing the environmental impacts of this process.

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