Life Cycle Assessment and Leather Production
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Leather industry is facing new trends on production and consumption patterns due to society concerns. Circular economy is proposing a transition from the current economic model to a more sustainable one, in which waste is designed out and resources will be reused and recycled as long as possible. In this transition, Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is an important tool to help decision-making. In the present review, 39 English-written peer-reviewed papers related to LCA and leather have been found, 30 of which were published in the last 6 years, meaning LCA is nowadays an important subject. Papers are presented within 4 types, focused on: 1) the whole leather production process, 2) a single step in the production process (e.g, new technologies for unhairing), 3) waste treatment and recycling, and 4) life cycle thinking with ideas on long-term strategies for leather industries. As discussed in the literature review, leather industry has important challenges to address: increasing sustainability and transparency on the supply chain, and strengthening the beauty of leather. Taking up these challenges from a life cycle perspective will help leather industry flourish in the coming future.