BRUSSELS, June 27, 2022 – Obligatory reusable packaging in takeaway services would be more burdensome for the environment than continuing to use single-use paper-based packaging. This is the conclusion of a new meta-study assessment, commissioned by the European Paper Packaging Alliance and carried out by renowned engineering consultancy, Ramboll.
As the European Commission prepares to propose a revision of the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive (PPWD) with potentially far-reaching implications, the analysis, which examined 26 scientific studies, shows that reuse systems impose exclusive additional burdens to the environment when compared to single-use, related to additional washing, take-back transportation and breakage / unit loss associated with takeaway.
The results show that Climate Change is by far the most affected impact category when implementing reuse in take-away services, and that reusable tableware can also have a significant impact on water use.
Commenting on the meta-study assessment, Eric Le Lay, President of the European Paper Packaging Alliance (EPPA), said:
This comprehensive meta-analysis proves again that single-use paper based products are the best choice for the environment. Single-use containers are far more practical for food delivery services and their customers, improving hygiene and convenience, and simply perform better on key environmental metrics.
We call on the European Commission to take this evidence into account in the upcoming Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive revision.
Antonio D’Amato, Vice President of the European Paper Packaging Alliance (EPPA), also highlighted:
Once again, rigorous scientific data analysis shows how the current emphasis on making reusable packaging mandatory merely hinders Europe’s ability to achieve vital environmental goals. Water saving is an important part of the Ramboll study data, and reusable packaging significantly increases freshwater consumption. Water stress is a critical global priority, as evidenced in Europe again by drought.
The European Paper Packaging Alliance is a non-for-profit food and foodservice packaging association. The priorities of the Alliance are to find concrete solutions to increase recycling and to reduce carbon emissions of food and foodservice packaging without compromising food safety and human health protection. More information is available here.