Huhtamaki has welcomed the conclusions of a new report, which reviews 26 scientific studies comparing the environmental impact of single-use packaging vs. reusable tableware used in takeaway settings.
Conducted by Ramboll, a leading global engineering, design and consultancy company, the ‘meta-analysis’ of 26 previous scientific studies concludes that the additional and specific burdens of reusable tableware, when used for takeaway food and beverages, makes it far less sustainable than paper-based single-use tableware. The reasons for this are the energy and water required for sanitization, together with the impacts of take-back transport and the breakage rates associated with takeaway systems.
Previous Life Cycle Assessments, undertaken by Ramboll for the European Paper Packaging Alliance (EPPA), revealed that when used within in-store settings in Quick Service Restaurants, reusable tableware systems generated 2.8 times more CO2-equivalent emissions and consumed 3.4 times more freshwater than paper-based packaging.
“This new study by Ramboll adds to the growing body of evidence that reusable tableware is not the solution for the foodservice industry, which itself is characterized by the number of operators and unique offerings. Given the environmental challenges our societies face, policymakers need to be especially aware of the energy and climate impacts of such packaging, and fully consider the role and benefits of renewable, sustainably-sourced paper-based packaging in food systems”, says Thomasine Kamerling, Executive Vice President of Sustainability and Communications at Huhtamaki.