News Nuts

Are Reusable Containers Really Better for the Environment?

Posted: 25 October 2021

If you look in the right kitchen drawer, chances are good you’ll find a whole stack of old takeaway containers. People often keep takeaway containers to re-use, because they know that takeaway containers are not very good for the environment.

There are a few reasons why takeaway containers aren’t great for the environment. Firstly, they are designed to be single-use. That means used once and then thrown away, usually to landfill. Secondly, they can be pretty hard to recycle. Styrofoam, for instance, is a popular material for takeaway containers, but it’s tricky to recycle because it contains so much air.

To try to help the environment, lots of people buy reusable containers instead. But are reusable containers really the better choice? Reusable containers are made of thicker materials than single-use, so they require more raw materials to produce. They also need to be washed regularly, and washing dishes is not a very environmentally friendly business!

Researchers have found that reusable containers need to be used a minimum of 16 times to make up for the air pollution harm of a single-use container. Sounds pretty easy, right? That’s just over two weeks of lunches. But, reusable containers need to be used 208 times to make up for how many resources go into producing them. Now that’s a lot of lunches!

There are lots of things you can do to help the environment. You can find some tips and tricks here.

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