The use of the eco-friendly lacquer obtained from processing tomato waste will help reduce the carbon footprint and achieve greater resource efficiency by substituting epoxy-based lacquers and increasing the use of secondary raw materials.
The results of the LCA study, performed in the FP7 BIOCOPAC project at lab scale, have shown a clear environmental benefit. The benefit of the cutin lacquer lies mainly in the saving of natural resources, in the recovery of part of the skins, as well as in the lower consumption of fossil fuel and lower emissions of CO2eq. The study showed that, for a single can, it can decrease CO2eq by 131mg. The savings of CO2 cannot but improve and increase, with the industrialization of the extraction method, where the process will be optimized and made more efficient.
The BiocopacPlus project promotes a double valorization of tomato by-products, as the tomato peels can be used as a starting material for a natural and eco-friendly bio-lacquer and as a source of energy for biogas production as demonstrated in the FP7 BIOCOPAC Project. In this way the BiocopacPlus Project will completely comply with the Waste Directive, (2008/98/EC), and with the principles of Circular Economy Systems (Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, July 2014). The project achievements go in the direction foreseen also by the renewed European Sustainable Development Strategy (EU SDS), which identifies Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) as one of the key challenges to be addressed in the context of the EU’s long-standing commitment to meet the challenges of sustainable development.
The use of a bio-lacquer replacing synthetic lacquer reduces the risk of environmental pollution in the recovery phase of the steel and thus promotes the recycling of metal containers, making provision to overcome the already high recovery percentages. Moreover, the production of a natural lacquer will significantly contribute to the safeguarding of both the environment and the health of workers.