IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Comparing the environmental impacts of paracetamol dosage forms using life cycle assessment


  • Rachit Kumar Sharma

    (Indian Institute of Technology Ropar)

  • Geo Raju

    (Indian Institute of Technology Ropar)

  • Prabir Sarkar

    (Indian Institute of Technology Ropar)

  • Harpreet Singh

    (Indian Institute of Technology Ropar)

  • Ekta Singla

    (Indian Institute of Technology Ropar)


A medicine can be administered in varied dosage forms which are having different environmental impacts. Two dosage forms of paracetamol (tablet and syrup) have the same function but are prepared and packaged differently, meaning that the environmental impacts arising out of their production will be of different magnitude. This study utilizes the life cycle assessment technique to find and compare the environmental impacts of two dosage forms of the paracetamol. Life cycle assessment software ‘GaBi’ v 8.0 has been utilized to carry out this study. Midpoint and endpoint impact assessment methods from ‘ReCiPe’ impact assessment method are used to carry out the life cycle impact assessment. The midpoint impact assessment results show that syrup production has 90% contribution in climate change impact category and more than 50% environment impact in fine particulate matter formation, fossil depletion, freshwater consumption, freshwater eutrophication, freshwater ecotoxicity, ionizing radiation, photochemical ozone formation, stratospheric ozone depletion, and terrestrial ecotoxicity midpoint impact categories. Tablet production has major impacts in 3 midpoint impact categories that are human toxicity, ionizing radiation, and metal depletion. Syrup production has major impacts (more than 70%) in 8 out of the 11 endpoint impact categories considered, while tablet production has a major impact in 3 impact categories that are human toxicity and ionizing radiation endpoint impact categories. Syrup production has a visibly higher impact in more number of midpoint as well as endpoint impact categories considered. The environmental hotspot is, however, dependent on the individual impact categories. The results of the study add to the existing knowledge of environmental sustainability assessment in the pharmaceutical sector and will benefit the environmental managers to better manage the environmental sustainability of pharmaceutical products.

Suggested Citation

  • Rachit Kumar Sharma & Geo Raju & Prabir Sarkar & Harpreet Singh & Ekta Singla, 2022. "Comparing the environmental impacts of paracetamol dosage forms using life cycle assessment," Environment, Development and Sustainability: A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Theory and Practice of Sustainable Development, Springer, vol. 24(10), pages 12446-12466, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:endesu:v:24:y:2022:i:10:d:10.1007_s10668-021-01948-2
    DOI: 10.1007/s10668-021-01948-2

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: Abstract
    Download Restriction: Access to the full text of the articles in this series is restricted.

    File URL:
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Egilmez, Gokhan & Kucukvar, Murat & Tatari, Omer & Bhutta, M. Khurrum S., 2014. "Supply chain sustainability assessment of the U.S. food manufacturing sectors: A life cycle-based frontier approach," Resources, Conservation & Recycling, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 8-20.
    2. Mayyas, Ahmad T. & Qattawi, Ala & Mayyas, Abdel Raouf & Omar, Mohammed A., 2012. "Life cycle assessment-based selection for a sustainable lightweight body-in-white design," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 412-425.
    3. Ness, Barry & Urbel-Piirsalu, Evelin & Anderberg, Stefan & Olsson, Lennart, 2007. "Categorising tools for sustainability assessment," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(3), pages 498-508, January.
    4. Yee, Kian Fei & Tan, Kok Tat & Abdullah, Ahmad Zuhairi & Lee, Keat Teong, 2009. "Life cycle assessment of palm biodiesel: Revealing facts and benefits for sustainability," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 86(Supplemen), pages 189-196, November.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Chye Ing Lim & Wahidul Biswas, 2015. "An Evaluation of Holistic Sustainability Assessment Framework for Palm Oil Production in Malaysia," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 7(12), pages 1-27, December.
    2. Iriarte, Alfredo & Rieradevall, Joan & Gabarrell, Xavier, 2012. "Transition towards a more environmentally sustainable biodiesel in South America: The case of Chile," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 91(1), pages 263-273.
    3. Rubio Rodríguez, M.A. & Ruyck, J. De & Díaz, P. Roque & Verma, V.K. & Bram, S., 2011. "An LCA based indicator for evaluation of alternative energy routes," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 88(3), pages 630-635, March.
    4. Kucukvar, Murat & Haider, Muhammad Ali & Onat, Nuri Cihat, 2017. "Exploring the material footprints of national electricity production scenarios until 2050: The case for Turkey and UK," Resources, Conservation & Recycling, Elsevier, vol. 125(C), pages 251-263.
    5. Figge, Frank & Hahn, Tobias & Barkemeyer, Ralf, 2014. "The If, How and Where of assessing sustainable resource use," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 274-283.
    6. L. Hay & A. H. B. Duffy & R. I. Whitfield, 2017. "The S‐Cycle Performance Matrix: Supporting Comprehensive Sustainability Performance Evaluation of Technical Systems," Systems Engineering, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 20(1), pages 45-70, January.
    7. Jean-Marc Douguet & Pierre Failler & Gianluca Ferraro, 2022. "Sustainability Assessment of the Societal Costs of Fishing Activities in a Deliberative Perspective," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 14(10), pages 1-21, May.
    8. Diana Tuomasjukka & Staffan Berg & Marcus Lindner, 2013. "Managing Sustainability of Fennoscandian Forests and Their Use by Law and/or Agreement: For Whom and Which Purpose?," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 6(1), pages 1-32, December.
    9. Georgiadou, Maria Christina & Hacking, Theophilus & Guthrie, Peter, 2012. "A conceptual framework for future-proofing the energy performance of buildings," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 145-155.
    10. Muhammet Enis Bulak & Murat Kucukvar, 2022. "How ecoefficient is European food consumption? A frontier‐based multiregional input–output analysis," Sustainable Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 30(5), pages 817-832, October.
    11. Baudry, Gino & Delrue, Florian & Legrand, Jack & Pruvost, Jérémy & Vallée, Thomas, 2017. "The challenge of measuring biofuel sustainability: A stakeholder-driven approach applied to the French case," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 933-947.
    12. Mostafa Shaaban & Jürgen Scheffran & Jürgen Böhner & Mohamed S. Elsobki, 2018. "Sustainability Assessment of Electricity Generation Technologies in Egypt Using Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis," Energies, MDPI, vol. 11(5), pages 1-25, May.
    13. Ngoc-Ninh Ho & Truong Lam Do & Dinh-Thao Tran & Trung Thanh Nguyen, 2022. "Indigenous pig production and welfare of ultra-poor ethnic minority households in the Northern mountains of Vietnam," Environment, Development and Sustainability: A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Theory and Practice of Sustainable Development, Springer, vol. 24(1), pages 156-179, January.
    14. Schilling, Markus & Chiang, Lichun, 2011. "The effect of natural resources on a sustainable development policy: The approach of non-sustainable externalities," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 990-998, February.
    15. Alexandra Doernberg & Annette Piorr & Ingo Zasada & Dirk Wascher & Ulrich Schmutz, 2022. "Sustainability assessment of short food supply chains (SFSC): developing and testing a rapid assessment tool in one African and three European city regions," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 39(3), pages 885-904, September.
    16. Simone Di Leo & Marta Chicca & Cinzia Daraio & Andrea Guerrini & Stefano Scarcella, 2022. "A Framework for the Analysis of the Sustainability of the Energy Retail Market," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 14(12), pages 1-28, June.
    17. Peura, Pekka, 2013. "From Malthus to sustainable energy—Theoretical orientations to reforming the energy sector," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 19(C), pages 309-327.
    18. Hiam Serhan & Gwenola Yannou-Le Bris, 2021. "The engineering of food with sustainable development goals:policies, curriculums, business models, and practices," Post-Print hal-02919820, HAL.
    19. Oriana Gava & Fabio Bartolini & Francesca Venturi & Gianluca Brunori & Angela Zinnai & Alberto Pardossi, 2018. "A Reflection of the Use of the Life Cycle Assessment Tool for Agri-Food Sustainability," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 11(1), pages 1-16, December.
    20. Holmatov, B. & Hoekstra, A.Y. & Krol, M.S., 2019. "Land, water and carbon footprints of circular bioenergy production systems," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 224-235.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:spr:endesu:v:24:y:2022:i:10:d:10.1007_s10668-021-01948-2. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Sonal Shukla or Springer Nature Abstracting and Indexing (email available below). General contact details of provider: .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.