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Tape your way to sustainability: a Life Cycle Assessment of a sport tape made from conventional cotton and ways to minimize its environmental impact

Elisa Accorsi

Tape your way to sustainability: a Life Cycle Assessment of a sport tape made from conventional cotton and ways to minimize its environmental impact.

Rel. Giovanni Andrea Blengini, Isabella Bianco. Politecnico di Torino, Corso di laurea magistrale in Ingegneria Per L'Ambiente E Il Territorio, 2023

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Sustainability is the state in which human activity is conducted in a manner that maintains the functions of Earth's ecosystems, while preserving the supply of non-replaceable goods and services, and promoting the perpetuation of all life forms. The need for sustainability emerged in response to increasing global environmental risks such as climate change, ozone depletion, biodiversity loss, and nitrogen cycle alteration. The circular economy is one approach to achieving sustainability, which emphasizes the efficient reuse of resources, materials, and products, leading to less waste, longer material and product lifetimes, and increased value. This concept seeks to shift from the traditional linear model of consumption and disposal to a circular model of sustainable production. The European Commission has set ambitious targets for the circular economy that require a range of measures, including sustainable product design, clear information for consumers and supply chain participants, sustainable business models, and increased green public projects. The Life Cycle Assessment is a useful tool for evaluating the environmental impacts and resource use of circular economy products and business models, and it can be applied to many aspects. The thesis focuses on the use of Life Cycle Assessment in sports, specifically on the impact of sport tape used by athletes for therapeutic, preventive, and rehabilitative purposes. The research was conducted in collaboration with Sterkur, a sustainable sport tape company in Amsterdam. Sterkur uses natural rubber and cotton, mainly harvested in China, India, and the USA, to produce their products. However, even with the use of natural materials, the cotton used in the sport tape was found to have the most impact in all impact categories. To improve the sustainability of the product, the traditional cotton can be substituted with organic cotton. Organic agriculture prohibits the use of chemicals, and farmers rely on natural sources of fertility such as compost, animal manure, green manure, and biodiversity to improve soil structure and water infiltration. Organic farming leads to a reduction in soil erosion, enhances soil structure, and increases the abundance of soil fauna, resulting in better nutrient retention and a reduced risk of groundwater pollution. In summary, sustainability promotes the preservation of Earth's ecosystems and perpetuation of all life forms. The circular economy aims to reduce waste and optimize resource extraction by reusing resources, materials, and products. The Life Cycle Assessment evaluates the environmental impacts of circular economy products and business models. Sport tape is an aspect that can benefit from sustainable materials such as organic cotton, improving product sustainability and reducing environmental impact. Adapting sustainable practices is crucial for individuals and organizations to achieve a more sustainable future.

Relators: Giovanni Andrea Blengini, Isabella Bianco
Academic year: 2022/23
Publication type: Electronic
Number of Pages: 99
Corso di laurea: Corso di laurea magistrale in Ingegneria Per L'Ambiente E Il Territorio
Classe di laurea: New organization > Master science > LM-35 - ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING
Aziende collaboratrici: Sterkur
URI: http://webthesis.biblio.polito.it/id/eprint/26272
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