Disposable paper packaging is more environmentally friendly than reusable tableware

The research report of the Dutch company Ramboll shows that: disposable paper packaging is more environmentally friendly than reusable tableware! This research shows that it is generally believed that reusable tableware has less impact on the environment, but this is not the case!

   The study released by the European Paper Packaging Association (EPPA) shows that disposable paper food and beverage packaging used in European fast-food restaurants are more environmentally friendly than reusable tableware.

   This Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) was conducted by Ramboll, an independent consultant from Denmark to the European Commission, and passed the German TUV certification.

   This study uses the latest raw data from the papermaking, packaging and food service industries to compare the environmental performance of disposable and reusable food and beverage containers used by fast food restaurants for major consumption for a total of one year.

   Ramboll Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) shows that in the washing and drying process, the energy consumption involved in the use of reusable plastic and traditional pottery exceeds the environmental impact of disposable paper tableware. The main report shows that compared with disposable paper tableware, CO2 emissions from reusable tableware increased by 177%, fresh water consumption increased by 267%, fine particulate matter production increased by 132%, and fossil fuel consumption increased 238%, terrestrial acidification increased by 72%.

“The main problem with reusable items is that they consume a lot of energy and water during the washing and drying process to ensure their hygiene and safety requirements, so that they can be reused by customers. This can also be confirmed by using the most effective dishwashing technology. This means that the use of disposable paper tableware is better for the climate and will not exacerbate water waste and other problems. At present, in many European countries, the problem of water shortage is becoming more and more serious.” Mr. Antonio D’Amato, President of EPPA Say.

EPPA Executive Director Hans van Schaik said: “Ramboll’s research shows that compared with disposable tableware solutions, preference for reusable tableware in fast food restaurants will have a negative impact on Europe’s climate change, fresh water consumption, fossil fuel consumption, and fine particulate matter. Formation and acidification of the land have a significant adverse effect.”

   The existing disposable paper tableware produced by EPPA members and used in Europe is 100% from sustainably managed forests. Paper and cardboard are the packaging materials with the highest recycling rate in Europe, accounting for about 86% (Eurostat, 2017 data).

The European Commission’s high-priority green trading policy aims to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, and insists on adopting product life cycle assessments to prove its environmental performance before deciding on the preferred direction. At present, there are issues related to packaging and packaging waste. Key legislation and single-use products are being formulated and discussed.

   The LCA complies with ISO standards and has been independently evaluated by German TÜV. Over time, LCA studies have been conducted on products for multiple purposes, but Ramboll’s LCA relies on primary data from public institutions and the private sector, rather than auxiliary data from outdated databases. The scope of Ramboll’s LCA is also very wide. unique.

The TUV agency issued a valid certificate for strict review, stating that “all important parameters are available and representative, and have been systematically derived and appropriately evaluated. All types of approvals have been checked. Evaluation and basic data collection and calculation The procedures are transparent and traceable.

Mr. Eric Le Lay, Deputy Director of EPPA, said: “Our research is based on the latest major data. Although there are common misunderstandings due to the lack of scientifically-based evidence and systematic methods, it shows that reusable products can bring often forgotten products. The huge environmental cost of the country, and disposable food packaging is of great help to the environment, public health and the carbon emission standards set by the European Union.”

Risto Auero, Sales Director of Fenlin Cardboard Catering Board and EPPA Representative in EPPA, said: “This research provides a scientific basis for how single-use cardboard products can reduce carbon dioxide emissions and reduce the use of increasingly depleted water resources. In addition, it is worth noting that from consumption From a health and safety perspective, disposable tableware is generally more hygienic than reusable tableware.”

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