Last updated on April 19, 2014 at 13:20 EDT

The End of a Myth! – Cascades’ Life Cycle Assessment demonstrates that its Polystyrene Foam Packaging are an Excellent Environmental Choice

November 17, 2011

KINGSEY FALLS, QC, Nov. 17, 2011 /PRNewswire/ – Cascades is proud to
release the results of a life cycle analysis (LCA) conducted by CIRAIG that calculates the ecological footprint for various food packaging
trays made from six types of plastic and molded pulp originating from
its own plants. Putting an end to the myth, the results actually
demonstrate that Cascades polystyrene foam is a good choice for the

The LCA results support the finding that for food packaging trays
manufactured by Cascades, the amount of material and type of energy
used are the factors that have the most impact on the environment,
while the end of life has little impact. Polystyrene foam, made of over
90 percent air, has an irrefutable ecological advantage, despite the
fact that it is rarely recycled. For the items studied, this material
produced the least amount of greenhouse gas emissions throughout the
entire product life cycle, from raw material extraction to
end-of-life. In addition, using recycled materials in the fabrication
of food packaging trays, as is the case with the RPET (recycled
polyethylene terephthalate) and molded pulp, results in tangible
environmental benefits, as doing so reduces the impact resulting from
raw material extraction.

Luc Langevin, President and COO of Cascades Specialty Products Group,
says, “This analysis provides a new perspective on food packaging. The
environmental performance of our trays is much better than popular
belief. Polystyrene foam can now be part of our environmental packaging

This LCA was designed to determine the environmental impact of Cascades’
food packaging trays. Seven types of packaging materials were
considered, including foamed and oriented polystyrene (XPS and OPS) or
no. 6 plastic, standard and recycled polyethylene terephthalate (PET
and RPET) or no. 1 plastic, polylactic acid polymer (PLA) member of the
no. 7 plastic category, polypropylene (PP) or no. 5 plastic and finally
molded pulp made of recycled newspapers and telephone books.

The analysis undertaken on Cascades’ behalf has permitted the
identification of those aspects with the greatest impact throughout the
life cycle of different products. “These findings have us taking stock
of our current situation so that we can better understand our impact
and thereby improve our efforts to reduce the environmental footprint
left by our products,” explains Mr. Langevin.

In the spirit of transparency, the detailed results are available at www.cascades.com/lca.

A member of the Cascades Specialty Products Group, the Consumer Product
Packaging sector conceives, manufactures and markets packaging products
made of moulded pulp and plastic and covers the food, hardware and
consumer product industries. Its diversified portfolio also includes
site furnishings and construction materials made of 100% recycled

Founded in 1964, Cascades produces, converts and markets packaging and
tissue products composed mainly of recycled fibres. Cascades employs
close to 11,000 employees who work in more than 100 production units
located in North America and Europe. Cascades’ management philosophy,
its more than 45 years of experience in recycling, its continued
efforts in research and development are strengths which enable the
company to create new products for its customers. The Cascades shares
trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol CAS.


Source: PR Newswire