Please note this lesson has recently been updated
C12-Using Earths resources-Life cycle assessment lesson created in accordance to the NEW AQA Specification (9-1). Designed for a mixed ability year 11 class, although content can be adjusted to suit any ability. Includes: slide animations, embedded videos and practice questions with answers on slides as well as a interactive review task. If for any reason the video link does not work, a URL has also been included in the notes. [NB: C12.4 on extracting metal ores is only for HT students]
AQA spec link: 220.127.116.11
environmental impact of products in each of these stages:
•• extracting and processing raw materials
•• manufacturing and packaging
•• use and operation during its lifetime
•• disposal at the end of its useful life, including transport and
distribution at each stage.
Use of water, resources, energy sources and production of some wastes can be fairly easily quantified. Allocating numerical values to pollutant effects is less straightforward and requires value judgements, so LCA is not a purely objective process. Selective or abbreviated LCAs can be devised to evaluate a product but these can be misused to reach pre-determined conclusions, eg in support of claims for advertising purposes.
Students should be able to carry out simple comparative LCAs for shopping bags made from plastic and paper.