A Tasteful Plan is committed to finding the most eco-friendly way to get meals to customers while maintaining the highest level of customer experience. We have been researching the options available and would like to relay this information to you.
The outside packaging will soon be a cardboard box. These are completely recyclable. Clients may keep these for their own use, set them out to be collected by one of Istanbul’s many paper collectors, or give them back to our delivery team for re-use (yes, please!). We also collect the bags we are currently using for re-use.
As for the food containers, we have narrowed the choice down to two options: biodegradable (compostable) containers and post-consumer recyclable plastic (PCR). Let’s discuss both.
Compostable containers might seem like the more sustainable option, but not necessarily so. There are two major types of compostable containers—those made from paper-based pulp and those from plant-based plastics. Paper-based pulp containers are lined with resin, which then makes them no longer compostable and becomes waste. Both types of materials require the use of an industrial composting facility. This is not backyard composting. It requires special temperature, humidity, and oxygen levels. Industrial composting requires that the containers be separated from other waste as well as transported to the facility. In our research, we have found only one industrial composting facility in Turkey and it mostly composts organic waste collected from food markets. Even in the U.S. and Europe, where there are many more facilities, most compostable packaging still ends up in the landfill. Adding to the issue, plant-based plastics cannot be recycled. Therefore we conclude that even if you want to compost the containers, they most likely will end up in landfills—where they take just as long to break down as a plastic container or any other waste – often hundreds of years.
So what about post-consumer recyclable plastic (which is plastic than has been recycled)? From an ecological standpoint, using PCR makes sense. It is cost competitive, available, and creates greater positive impact than other choices. For example, the carbon footprint of manufacturing PCR is 60% lower than virgin plastic. Furthermore, by using PCR we eliminate the need for new plastic, which is especially important given the current low rates of recycling. And finally, the PCR containers can be recycled.
The choice for us seems clear.
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