Mobile menu icon
Skip to navigation | Skip to main content | Skip to footer
Mobile menu icon Search iconSearch
Search type

Tyndall Manchester

A set of wooden letters spelling

Takeaway containers – the environmental cost of packing our favourite fast-foods

9 January 2019

A new study conducted by Dr Alejandro Gallego-Schmid estimates there are 2025 million takeaway containers per year being used in the European Union (EU) alone.

The researchers have carried out the first ever comprehensive study of the environmental impacts of disposable takeaway-food containers. They looked at aluminium, polystyrene (styrofoam) and polypropylene (clear plastic) containers. These were compared to reusable plastic containers, such as “Tupperware”. The study estimates that recycling half of the containers currently in use, as envisaged by the EU recycling policy for the year 2025, would reduce their carbon footprint by a third. This would save 61,700 t CO2 eq. per year at the EU level, equivalent to the greenhouse gas emissions generated annually by 55,000 cars.  Most other impacts would be reduced by more than 20%.

The research is published in Journal of Cleaner Production and is available via the link below:

Return to the full list of news stories.