A study of the packaging used to transport cement to construction sites has found that plastic packaging is more sustainable when wastage is taken into consideration.
The study by environmental consultants BASF looked at the use of both plastic bags and paper bags and took into consideration the amount of wastage caused as a result of damage to the bags.
It found that plastic bags were 39 per cent more environmentally sustainable than traditional alternatives and had a 45 per cent lower carbon footprint due primarily to the reduction in cement lost.
The report also revealed that because less cement was wasted when packaged in plastic water emissions were reduced by 81 per cent and solid waste emissions dropped 52 per cent across the product's lifecycle.
The analysis looked at six factors - energy consumption, resource consumption, emissions, land use, health effects and risk potential associated with both materials.