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Is the Eco-label EU Decision for hard coverings really capable of capturing the environmental performances of the marble productive chain? A field verification by means of a life cycle approach

  • Autori: Capitano, C.; Peri, G.; Rizzo, G.
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2014
  • Tipologia: Articolo in rivista (Articolo in rivista)
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Purpose This work intends to show whether the Eco-label EU Decision for hard coverings, in which marble is contemplated among hard coverings as a natural product, is really capable of capturing the environmental performances of the marble productive chain, in other words whether it is actually viable for the natural products, like marble. Methods After a preliminary critical analysis of the suitability formarble of the current EU Decision (2009/607/EC), a classical life cycle assessment (LCA) methodology has been applied on the field to the marble “Perlato di Sicilia.” More specifically, the whole productive chain of a couple of firms treating the “Perlato di Sicilia” marble has been examined. The life cycle analysis is actually a cradle-to-gate analysiswhich includes the raw material extraction, processing phase, and finishing operations. Results and discussion Both the preliminary critical analyses of the structure of the Decision and the in-field checking on the two firms of the Custonaci marble district in Sicily singled out several conflicting points of the Decision for the marble working chain. These difficulties could be reasonably extended to other natural stones, such as granite, for which similar working processes are applied. Based on the outcomes of both these analyses, in the present work, a set of new indicators and modified criteria, already present in the Decision, is proposed as a candidate to be considered for inclusion in a future release of the Decision. Conclusions The changes here introduced can represent a useful indication toward a more suitable scheme of the EU Eco-label for marble, at least. Clearly, further investigations need to better assess the proposed scheme, especially in terms of threshold values of pollutant releases and use of explosive that are actually specific for the marble productive chain. The present modified version of the standard has been proposed to the Sicilian administration in order to be voluntarily adopted by marble productive sites of the region, in the aim of extensively verifying its suitability.