The Facts: Fast-Food Packaging Waste Statistics
a rubbish bin overflowing with fast food packaging and other rubbish

Fast-food packaging waste is a global problem, but how bad is the current situation?

Whether you live in a city centre or further afield, you’ve no doubt come across your fair share of litter. Last year, littering was on the rise as lockdowns eased and people started to venture out. The break from isolation was welcomed by many, but a minority left behind their rubbish for others to deal with.

The unsightly images of littered locations featured fast-food packaging, drinks cans and plastic bottles as the primary culprits, but these kinds of issues — and this kind of waste — has been a prevalent problem for years. Fast food restaurants and outlets produce a tremendous amount of packaging waste, but how bad is the packaging waste problem, and what are the latest fast-food packaging waste statistics?

Fast Food Packaging Waste in Numbers

In the UK, it’s estimated that consumers who purchase fast-food for lunch generate about 11 billion tonnes of packaging waste a year. The survey of 1,200 workers found that the average lunch order had four packaged items, including sandwiches, crisps and snacks. You might be thinking that four individually wrapped food items don’t mean much in the grand scheme of things, but let’s look at the bigger picture.

Over a week, these people could produce 20 separate items of non-recyclable packaging waste. In a month, that average might easily equate to 80 or more missed opportunities to reuse or recycle food packaging. 

This means that the average person who bought their lunch every day from a supermarket, fast-food outlet or other takeaway services could generate nearly 1000 separate pieces of rubbish per year. The worst part? Most of this packaging isn’t recycled or recyclable.

What Are Fast Food Companies Doing About Packaging Waste?

Those numbers leave something of a bad taste in your mouth, so what are fast-food businesses doing about the problem? Surely they’re the ones who should be held accountable for producing unrecyclable, non-biodegradable waste? The internationally recognised fast-food chain McDonald’s produces about three tonnes of packaging waste every minute, almost two million tonnes of packaging waste a year. That’s a lot of rubbish, a lot more than what meets the eye when littering is rife.

How Can Fast Food Companies Tackle Packaging Waste?

It’s clear to see that businesses have a significant environmental problem on their hands, so you might be asking yourself, “are fast-food companies doing enough to solve the packaging waste problem?”. McDonald’s latest statement about its packaging and waste management processes is hopeful, stating that the company aims to “source 100% of our guest packaging from renewable, recycled or certified sources by 2025”. 

Other fast-food restaurants are also trying to tackle the environmental issues that fast-food packaging creates. PepsiCo stated in 2019 that it encourages “conservation of natural resources, recycling, source reduction, and the reduction of landfill wastes”, but it’s not clear how much progress has been made by the owner of both KFC and Taco Bell.

While the food-on-the-go market continues to rise, more waste is being produced than ever before. So what can smaller businesses do to counteract the harm of an ever-growing market of convenience-hungry consumers?

Eco-friendly Packaging Products and Waste Reduction

When you’re dealing with a problem of such magnitude, it’s easy to ask “why use eco-friendly products?” and “what good will it do?”, but it’s important to remember that whatever positive change you can bring about will make a sizable difference to your business, your customers and your community.

You’ve probably heard that environmentally friendly packaging can be used effectively to reduce fast-food packaging waste, but how? 

Recyclable, recycled, biodegradable and compostable packaging:

1) Reduces the amount of non-recyclable waste produced by businesses and consumers, decreasing the number of waste products that end up in landfills.

2) Puts more emphasis on sustainability and sustainable culture, encouraging recycling and using renewable resources to create packaging.

3) Helps businesses win more environmentally conscious customers, allowing them to diversify their markets and appeal to wider audiences.

4) Is more aesthetically pleasing and often more practical than it’s non-sustainable counterparts.

While eco-friendly packaging might not change the world overnight, it tackles the highly significant environmental issues caused by single-use plastic packaging. The low recyclability and lack of reusability of plastic containers — like those that often accompany your takeaway food — are some of the most harmful examples of poorly thought-out packaging. But the good news is that there are better alternatives available, and more innovative and eco-friendly solutions are always being developed.

What Does the Future of Fast-Food Waste Look Like? 

The future of fast-food waste looks to be in safe hands since the global fast-food packaging waste problem has inspired some of the brightest minds to try and solve the issue. The latest developments in biodegradable packaging are a ray of hope, offering incredible packaging solutions that large scale businesses could implement in just a matter of years.

Eco-bowls made from sugarcane pulp and biodegradable spoons constructed using avocado seeds are readily available for environmentally conscious businesses to take advantage of. With so many exciting developments and innovations already in the works, who knows what exciting ideas we’ll be presented with that’ll help us all move towards a greener future.

Changing the World, One Takeaway at a Time

If you’re an eco-conscious fast-food service, what can you do right now to turn the tide on fast-food packaging waste? Investing in eco-friendly packaging products like grease-proof pizza boxes or biodegradable Kraftware is an excellent place to start. Global fast-food giants are beginning to follow suit, but a healthy planet is a shared responsibility between businesses of all sizes, as well as their consumers.

Not only can you reduce your carbon footprint with eco-friendly products like those previously mentioned, but you’ll also be helping society as a whole to pay more attention to the products they buy and how they dispose of their packaging. 

Do you want to start making a difference with your takeaways? Check out our eco-friendly packaging products, perfect for all kinds of takeaway cuisine. Save on packaging costs, reduce waste and help to protect the environment with our recycled, recyclable, compostable and biodegradable packaging solutions today.

How to safely dispose of non-recyclable plastic
volunteer helping clear up non-recyclable plastic


Non-recyclable plastic creates a huge environmental problem that needs to be addressed by businesses and consumers alike.

We’ve all seen harrowing images of wildlife and oceans affected by plastic waste. We’ve also seen the pledges by big-name brands to reduce their plastic packaging production and usage. While it’s been reported that multinational companies aren’t doing enough to tackle the problem, it’s clear that a serious global issue exists. 

What’s not so clear is how we deal with non-recyclable packaging. After all, there are only so many ways that non-recyclable plastics can be reused. Is throwing it away the right thing to? If it can’t yet be recycled, what can you do with non-recyclable materials? 

What Can You Do with Non-recyclable Plastic?

There is a vast number of items we regularly use that can’t be recycled due to the kind of plastic the product or its packaging is made from. In most cases, it isn’t economically or environmentally viable to recycle plastics such as film lids, plastic bags or plastic wrapping such as cling film. 

These kinds of plastics can clog the processing machinery at recycling facilities, interfering with the recycling process. It’s for this reason that it’s actually better to dispose of these kinds of non-recyclable plastics in your general waste rather than your recycling bin, as uneconomical as this practice may seem. 

Which Plastic Cannot Be Recycled?

It’s quite simple to figure out which plastics can’t be recycled. Keep your eye out for signs and symbols that indicate whether or not your salad, snack or sandwich is packaged using recyclable materials. 

It’s also handy to know about the classification system used to identify different plastics if you’re ever in doubt about whether your packaging can be recycled or not. All plastic products are accompanied by a Resin Identification Code (RIC), a number between one and seven that describes the kind of polymer the plastic resin is made from. 

Typically, products with numbers one and two can often be recycled, numbers three to six can sometimes be recycled, while products with number seven attached to them are rarely recyclable. It’s worth checking what your local council’s recycling scheme covers, as most will differ depending on the facilities available.

Recycling Plastic and Non-plastic Packaging 

By opting for products that are packaged without plastic, you’re avoiding creating any unnecessary waste that’d otherwise end up in landfills. But if you’re looking to recycle as much of your household waste as possible, be aware that it’s not just plastics that cause recycling issues. Broken glass and oil-stained pizza boxes can’t be reused, but it’s labour-intensive for recycling plants to separate them from items that could otherwise be recycled. 

In this instance, it’s not uncommon for recycling facilities to reject entire loads of perfectly recyclable packaging which has been deemed “contaminated” by these non-recyclable items. This means that even the most diligently cleaned food packaging that’s ripe for recycling is thrown out with the other contaminated waste, ending up in landfill sites across the country. To avoid this from happening, make sure to only recycle clean and sanitised packaging. Otherwise, you might be doing more harm than good.

What Happens to Non-recyclable Plastic?

Nearly all non-recyclable plastics end up in landfills — along with a large percentage of contaminated recyclable packaging. This is a major problem because most plastic products take hundreds of years to decompose. As these materials start to degrade, they leak harmful chemicals back into the environment, making their impact on the planet doubly worse.

Plastic waste also ends up in the oceans, causing a great deal of harm to marine life. Waste from boats is responsible for almost half of the pollution in the North Pacific Garbage Patch, but wastewater, wind, rain and floods carry plastic waste from the land into the oceans, especially lightweight items, such as plastic bags, straws, cotton buds and food packaging.

Plastic Pollution and Non-recyclable Materials

The bad news is that there’s no practical way to deal with non-recyclables other than reusing them or disposing of them properly in general waste. 

It’s not all doom and gloom though. Scientists are working on implementing plastic-eating enzymes that can dramatically speed up the decomposition process of plastic bottles, reducing the significantly damaging effects of overfilled landfills. But that doesn’t mean we’re totally off the hook, the key to making progress is to be proactive about our consumption of plastics and other non-recyclable waste. 

Until single-use plastics are eradicated, it’s unrealistic to boycott all of the everyday items that we rely on. Some plastics can be useful and shouldn’t be disregarded — not until we have cost-effective, reliable and sustainable solutions — but there are plenty of viable alternatives for some of our most commonly used items. 

Many of these alternatives have many practical and environmental benefits, like our range of eco-friendly takeaway packaging, perfect for all kinds of takeaway food and drinks products.

What Is the Future of Plastics and Non-recyclables?

The government encouraged businesses and consumers to curb their plastic usage with the introduction of the plastic bag tax — first introduced in 2015 — which is set to double in 2021

This legislation puts more emphasis on reusable bags, helping to reduce the amount of single-use plastics that need to be created. The sale of single-use plastics such as cotton buds, straws and drink stirrers are also to be banned in 2021, further reducing the amount of single-use plastic items in circulation.

With more similar plastic bans on the way and the most recent introduction of the EU plastic tax, it’s safe to say that plastics — recyclable and non-recyclable — are on the way out (and good riddance). 

How Can You Reduce the Amount of Plastic?

Until we’re completely free of plastics, avoiding them altogether can be a challenging task. But there are several realistic and easily manageable suggestions you can start today:

1. Avoid Buying Bottled Water

Plastic water bottles make up a huge percentage of the total global plastic waste, but there are plenty of reusable water bottles available to buy, most of which are made from a variety of eco-friendly, recycled and recyclable materials. You can start reducing your plastic consumption simply by taking your reusable water bottle with you when you’re out and about, saving you money on buying bottled water and reducing plastic waste, recyclable or otherwise.

Over 20 thousand businesses are operating as “Refill Stations in the UK, including brands such as Costa, Starbucks and Greggs, so keep your eye out for the Refill logo for places that’ll help you stay hydrated without creating unnecessary waste.

2. Get a Reusable Coffee Cup

All kinds of coffee shops welcome customers to bring in their reusable coffee cups. Not only does it save businesses money on extra packaging costs, but it also helps to reduce waste. Plus, you can usually get a discount on your purchase by using your own reusable hot drinks container, something offered by most of the major coffee shop chains as well as independent businesses. Before you know it, your new sustainable coffee cup is paying for itself.

3. Start Using Alternatives for Food Preservation

As mentioned, most recycling facilities won’t accept cling film for recycling as it can cause issues with the recycling machinery. But, it’s also been documented that plastic food containers — like those used by takeaway outlets — can harbour bacteria and even leak plastic particles into the food you’re reheating, which isn’t good news. They’re also frequently recycled without being cleaned out properly, meaning that contamination can lead to more recyclable materials going to waste.

Glass food containers are much sturdier and more durable than potentially harmful plastic takeaway tubs, while wax wraps make an excellent eco-friendly alternative to cling film that can be reused again and again.

4. Avoid Products Containing Microbeads

The government first pledged to ban plastic microbeads in September 2016, following a ban in the US in 2015. The ban is now in force after it was discovered that thousands of tonnes of plastic microbeads from exfoliating face scrubs and toothpaste washed into the sea every year, causing a great deal of harm to marine life that ingest these tiny plastic particles. 

This new legislation means that you can’t buy products that contain these tiny-but-terrible microplastics in the UK, but it’s worth keeping an eye out for products containing harmful plastics abroad

5. Try Out Tote Bags

Plastic bags create a huge amount of avoidable landfill waste and don’t go the distance in terms of usage, usually perishing within only a few uses. That makes eco-friendly tote bags a must-have item for anyone who wants to do their bit to help reduce plastic waste. They’re fairly cheap, will last you a long time and have the benefit of being 100 per cent biodegradable.

6. Get Loose with Your Fruit and Veg Shopping

Loose produce is no different from the fruit and vegetables covered in layers of plastic. Supermarkets are slowly reducing their use of single-use plastics in the sale of fresh produce, but many have a long way to go before they’re having an impact. Be kinder to the planet and opt for loose fruit and vegetables that aren’t pre-wrapped in plastic. Use paper bags to carry your goods when necessary — paper is much less harmful to the environment due to its natural biodegradable properties.

How to Deal with Non-recyclable Plastic

The best way we can deal with non-recyclable materials is by reducing our consumption and avoiding these kinds of packaging altogether. 

The good news is that there are plenty of easy ways to reduce plastic consumption without completely changing the way we live our lives. All that’s required is a greater consciousness of packaging waste that’s inevitably created as we consume all kinds of products. After all, packaging serves a valuable function, keeping our products protected and produce fresh. By following the steps outlined above, we can all work towards a greener future. 

How Businesses Can Help Save the Planet

The best way businesses across all industries can help consumers is by encouraging the use of eco-friendly packaging. Educating customers about the benefits of using reusable, recyclable, biodegradable and compostable materials for everyday items like takeaway food is not only a great way to help people protect the environment, but also makes an effective marketing angle. 

Allowing consumers to help save the planet with their purchase of sustainably sourced products and packaging is the perfect way to win eco-conscious customers, raise brand awareness and make people think about the future they want. You can start today with our awesome range of environmentally friendly packaging for all kinds of takeaway food products available in our online shop.

 Are you ready to start ditching the plastic and start going green? Explore our range of eco-friendly takeaway packaging products and discover a new realm of possibilities for a much greener future.

Updated March 2021

Wrapped Up: Why Do We Need Food Packaging?
takeaway food packaging

From takeaway vendors to supermarket stalls, food and drinks products often come pre-packaged for our convenience.

It’s not uncommon to encounter environmentally harmful packaging that clings to all kinds of fruit, vegetables, sandwiches, snacks and salads. The “lunch on the go” economy alone accounts for 11 billion items of packaging waste a year, most of which aren’t recycled or recyclable.

With such shocking waste statistics, you’re probably asking yourself, “why do we need food packaging?”, but there are few important reasons why the packaging for consumables remains essential for the food and drinks industry. Plus, with more eco-friendly packaging options available than ever before, we can start to reduce the debt we owe to the planet for putting up with our throw-away culture.

Why Do We Need Food Packaging?

It’s crucial to understand why we need food packaging to justify its usage across such a range of sectors. From global exporters to your local takeaway, food packaging provides:

  1. Protection from the Elements

Your food and drinks products frequently travel thousands of miles before they safely reach their destination. Whether it’s apples from America or lettuce from Spain, produce that could easily be damaged need to be protected during transit.

Nearly half of the food we consume in the UK is imported, which means large amounts of packaging are required to ensure that the produce doesn’t spoil before it arrives in supermarkets, shops and grocery stores. It’s a complex logistical process that requires a lot of effort and resources to maintain, so high-quality packaging materials are essential.

  1. Hygiene Safety

COVID-19 has provided continual challenges for the packaging industry, increasing the importance of effective packaging solutions that keep people safe by reducing the likelihood of viruses spreading.

Consumers view packaging as a necessity, with paper packaging being viewed as the safest to use by consumers, mainly because it can easily be disposed of and is generally intended for a limited number of uses. Once the packaging has served its purpose, it causes much less environmental harm when it needs to be thrown away due to its natural biodegradable properties.

  1. Information and Advice to Customers

Food packaging for takeaways is especially important as it gives food vendors an effective way to tell customers what ingredients their products contain. Without the appropriate packaging, consumers wouldn’t be able to find out if the food they’re eating could cause an allergic reaction, which — in some rare cases — can be fatal.

It’s also an opportunity to encourage consumers to recycle or responsibly dispose of their packaging. Various packaging symbols are often used to help consumers decipher what can and can’t be recycled, while the highly recognisable Tidyman logo has been used to discourage littering for decades.

  1. An Enhanced Aesthetic

Custom packaging designs are essential to businesses across the food and drinks industries. Vibrant artwork, catchy slogans and bespoke packaging all play a vital role in driving sales, increasing brand recognition and ultimately determining the success of businesses in a competitive marketplace. Bespoke designs also benefit the consumer, making for a more enjoyable drinking and dining experience.

  1. Sustainability

Not only does sustainable packaging protect the environment, but it also helps to stop foods from spoiling, reducing waste as a result. It’s estimated that over 9.5 million tonnes of food is wasted every year in the UK, so we must conserve as much food as possible to reduce excess food wastage.

It’s also been studied that concerns regarding sustainability have increased amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, with non-recyclable packaging being regarded of the highest importance. At a time where single-use products are seeing more use than ever before, consumers have become increasingly aware of the negative impact these items have on the planet.

Is Food Packaging Essential?

Food packaging serves several purposes, from protecting produce and keeping it fresh to helping customers take note of a product’s ingredients. Since food packaging is here to stay, so our attention is turned to reducing the amount of single-use, environmentally harmful packaging. 

With more supermarkets catching on to consumer trends and making efforts to reduce plastic waste, we’re heading towards a greener future, but it’s up to all kinds of businesses to reduce their effects on the environment. As we’ve discussed, takeaway packaging is a crucial area that accounts for a large percentage of the non-biodegradable waste created, so now is the perfect time to switch to more eco-friendly packaging alternatives. 

Interested in protecting the planet with your takeaways? Discover our range of eco-friendly takeaway packaging, and start shrinking your carbon footprint today. If you’re after something extra special, why not check out our custom packaging, perfect for all kinds of cuisine.

How to Make Food Packaging Boxes That Delight
Tasty homemade burger takeaway in a box of recycled paper on wooden boards.

Food packaging doesn’t have to be bland and tasteless, why not spice-up your takeaway packaging to give your business’s branding a flavoursome lift.

The better a dish looks, the tastier we think it is — that’s just the miracle of the human mind. When we’re presented with something aesthetically pleasing, our brains assume that anything that looks that good must taste fantastic too. That’s why we think every business should know how to make food packaging boxes that show their food in the best possible light.

Recent studies have discovered that eating food with your hands can also make things taste better, which is great news for burger joints, pizza places and all other hands-on takeaway outlets.

So, can you use your food packaging boxes to engage your customers’ senses? If your diners are handed a beautifully presented takeaway, they’ll likely be more impressed with the taste than if it was carelessly thrown together and bundled in unsightly packaging. With custom packaging, you can create unforgettable dining experiences for your customers that’ll leave them wanting to come back for more.

Creating Bespoke Food Packaging Boxes

If you’re on a mission to deliver amazing flavours to the nation, consider swapping out your boring packaging for boxes and containers that will get the desired reaction from your customers. 

There are a few steps you can take to make sure your new packaging delivers:

1 Pick the Right Packaging

This step is straightforward if you’re only selling specific dishes like noodles, but it can be a tricky affair if you’re selling a variety of food and drinks products. Make sure you choose packaging that’s versatile enough to handle your hot and cold food, like takeaway boxes or soup cups that can effectively contain various cuisines.

If you’re selling a variety of drinks, it’s a good idea to have different containers for different kinds of beverages. It’s best to serve your hot drinks in printed paper cups that can handle the heat, but you’re better off with something like an eco-clear cup — made from sustainable bioplastic — for your ice-cold beverages. Each of these containers has biodegradable properties, meaning they won’t leave a lasting impression on the environment.

2 Create a Custom Design

If you’re happy with your business’s branding, then you’re well on your way to creating some dazzling food packaging designs. Simply adding your logo to your food packaging boxes can go a long way in helping people to remember and recognise your brand, as well as increasing the perceived quality of your products. But taking things a step further can cement your position as the top-dog in town.

If your branding could do with a boost, our in-house design team is here to lend a helping hand. As experts in the field of custom packaging for all manner of takeaway outlets, we’ll be able to help create eye-catching artwork that’ll highlight the quality of your offerings.

3 Order Your Food Packaging Boxes

Once you’re satisfied with your new custom packaging designs, go ahead and order your takeaway boxes, noodle boxes, coffee cups or soup containers. A small investment in the right kind of branded packaging can set your business apart from the competition while also helping you to protect the environment. 

Using vegetable-based inks, we’re able to create incredible designs that won’t affect the biodegradable properties of your packaging — a win for your business and a win for the planet too.

4 Store and Distribute Your New Packaging

It’s important to consider the quantity of the packaging you order. Storing packaging in the right environment can be a bothersome issue for businesses operating in small spaces, but with our storage and distribution service, we can store your new packaging until you need it. When you need more, we’ll send it out to you with next-day delivery so you’re always fully stocked. If you’ve got the storage capabilities, it’s also worth noting that you can design your food packaging boxes to be stackable, saving you valuable space.

How to Make Food Packaging Boxes That Delight

Whether you’re still searching for inspiration or you’re already set on your new branding, let us help you deliver epic takeaways with fantastic branded packaging. No matter what cuisine you sell, the takeaway container can enhance your customers’ experiences, reduce your carbon footprint and set your brand apart from the competition. With an extensive range of fully customisable and eco-friendly products, we’ve got all bases covered.

Interested in taking your food packaging boxes to the next level? Get in touch for a free design quote, and let us help you create amazing packaging your customers will fall in love with.

How Does Plastic Packaging Affect the Environment?
Many rubbish on the beach with backdrop are blurred blue sky and horizon

Plastic packaging has been in circulation for decades, but the environmental effects of wide-spread plastic usage are starting to take their toll on the planet. 

There’s no denying that plastic packaging has proven useful to many businesses and consumers alike, but it comes with an unignorable environmental cost, as well as many other disadvantages that far outweigh its benefits. Read on to find out how Takeaway Packaging is turning the tide on plastic packaging in the food sector.

What Is the Negative Impact of Plastic Packaging?

Plastic packaging comes laden with drawbacks that have a direct impact on the environment and our personal wellbeing.

Littering ruins nature (particularly plastic-based litter).

Littering is still a prevalent issue, even though greater penalties have been put in place in recent years to curb the nationwide problem. Fast-food packaging makes up about one-third of all the most commonly littered items, and since a proportion of that litter is non-biodegradable, it lies strewn across our public spaces for years.

While food vendors aren’t primarily at fault, they also have the unique opportunity to reduce the impact of littering by switching to biodegradable takeaway packaging. This kind of eco-friendly packaging material degrades naturally and at a much faster rate than plastic or polystyrene packaging, meaning that the adverse effects of littering would be much less harmful to the local environment. 

Customised takeaway packaging can also be used to encourage recycling and responsible waste management. By including useful information on the packaging itself, people can be made aware of how to properly dispose of it, nudging people in the right direction.

Plastic doesn’t degrade for hundreds of years.

It can take centuries for plastics to fully decompose. That means that the plastic we use today to protect our food and package our takeaways will likely be around for generations after it has served its limited purpose. Worryingly, single-use plastics make up around 40% of all the plastic waste produced year-on-year, which are predominantly plastic containers, cups and cutlery.

Environmentally safe alternatives — like biodegradable cups and sustainable food containers — have seen a surge in popularity due to their eco-friendly characteristics, providing consumers and businesses with a greener option for their takeaway packaging.

When plastic starts to degrade, it leaks toxins back into the environment.

To add insult to injury, plastics expel toxic by-products like bisphenol A (BPA) and PS oligomer when they start to degrade. It means that as the oil-based materials slowly perish, the chemicals that remain poison the planet. On the other hand, bioplastics break down into purely natural chemicals, leaving minimal trace of their existence behind while still offering similar characteristics. 

Plastic packaging contaminates our food.

Most shocking of all is how plastics can contaminate our food and drinks products. Some forms of plastic packaging release tiny plastic particles — often referred to as microplastics — that subsequently contaminate our food with plastic fragments, causing us to ingest these toxic materials. While the risks of plastic ingestion haven’t yet been fully studied, it’s estimated that people eat around 50,000 plastic particles every year, which isn’t good news for our continued health and wellbeing.

Unrecycled plastic packaging causes harm to animals.

If you were concerned about the effects of plastic on humans, many wildlife species are also directly affected by plastic ingestion. Ocean-dwelling animals regularly encounter plastic and accidentally ingest microscopic plastic particles, which can often be fatal to most marine life. Sea birds are frequently found with bellies full of plastics that they mistook for morsels of food, wreaking havoc on their digestive systems and proving fatal in most cases.

What Can You Do to Reduce Plastic Waste?

You’re probably asking yourself, “how can we reduce the impact of excess food packaging on the environment?”. The good news is that you can do a few things to prevent further plastic pollution as a consumer and as a business. 
Recycling plastics and avoiding plastic-wrapped products is a good start, but why not opt for more eco-friendly alternatives? The remarkable properties of biodegradable and compostable materials — like those used make our takeaway packaging — make them perfect for food and drinks products. Even if they are spoilt and can’t be recycled, they still won’t have such a damaging effect on the environment. From coffee cups to bags and carriers, you can ditch the plastic and start saving the planet one piece of packaging at a time.

Are you ready to make the switch to eco-friendly packaging products and stop the surge of plastic packaging waste? Discover our eco-friendly packaging materials for food and drinks products today.

How Is Food Packaged in Space?
Astronaut in zero gravity with fast food. Pop art retro vector illustration

Astronauts are some of the bravest, fittest and most intelligent people on Earth. But what do they eat and how is their food packaged in space?

While children will have been looking up to the sky to try and spot Father Christmas this December, you might’ve been lucky enough to spot the International Space Station (ISS). This monolithic structure has been orbiting our planet since its launch in 1998, travelling at a staggering 7.66km/s –– just fast enough to keep up with Earth –– as we hurtle through space.

Onboard the ISS, there’s a crew of over 60 people. Each of them spends around six months aboard the station, meaning they’ll need to eat, exercise and work, just like they would back at home. Since they can’t pop to the shops to grab a takeaway 408km up in the atmosphere, food contained in specialised packaging is required to give astronauts the nutrition they need.

How Does Food Work in Space?

In 2004, a cargo delivery to the ISS was delayed, meaning that the astronauts aboard the station had to ration their food intake until more supplies arrived. Your tardy takeaway somewhat pales into insignificance when you realise that running out of food in space has some pretty serious consequences.

While astronauts aren’t allowed certain food and drinks in space, most of the space food available to our galactic travellers is much the same as what you’d expect back on Earth. It wasn’t always the case –– the first man to eat in space had to do so through an aluminium tube.

What Do Astronauts Eat in Space?

Since there are several nationalities of crew members aboard the ISS, the menu is quite varied. Nowadays, astronauts eat a varied diet, from fruit and vegetables to pre-prepared meals –– even desserts! While these space dinners might not be as memorable as your favourite Chinese takeout, they give the astronauts the nutrients they need to stay focussed on their missions.

Now that NASA plans to send it’s new spacecraft, Orion, further into space than any craft before it, there are new challenges to be faced in giving astronauts the nutrition they need. Since Orion will propel the crew at nearly 65,000km past the moon, their food must have a shelf life of over two years; otherwise, the astronauts risk running out of food.

Is Food Packaging in Space Eco-Friendly?

Incredibly, space food packaging is eco-friendly. Even though it’s specifically designed to travel thousands of miles and remain completely protected throughout the entire journey, it’s fully biodegradable. Trust NASA to come up an ingenious, eco-friendly solution to interstellar food packaging.

The main reason why NASA developed this kind of biodegradable food packaging is because of the limited capacity for waste aboard a spacecraft. Although they originally used metal packaging for long-term food storage in space, trash management posed a serious problem aboard NASA’s spacecraft.

If they could store food packaging more efficiently aboard each craft, it’d save valuable space. Interstellar littering is also out of the question –– jettisoning the crew’s food packaging could interfere with a spacecraft’s delicate systems, meaning they can only fire liquids out into space.

What Does This Mean for the Future of Food Packaging?

NASA’s groundbreaking invention of the biodegradable, long-shelf-life food packaging material has much wider implications than making easy-to-transport space food. The packaging itself is said to be easily scalable, meaning that we could see more of the high-grade environmentally friendly packaging materials used back on Earth in years to come.

It would be a huge benefit to our society while we wrestle with plastic pollution and struggle with food waste. The new technology has the potential to have a broad impact, but for now, eco-friendly takeaway packaging in the form of plastic-free coffee cups and biodegradable pizza boxes are the best answer we have to tackle our global waste problems.

Interested in eco-friendly takeaway packaging that doesn’t cost the Earth? Explore our range of sustainable takeaway packaging, perfect for deliveries and suitable for all kinds of food and drink products.

The Best Packaging Material for Your Products
Street food. Meat cutlet burgers are in paper boxes. Food delivery.

With so many packaging options for all kinds of food and drinks products, it can be hard to decide on the safest, most cost-effective takeaway packaging for your business.

Home-delivered food has a huge climate cost, with single-use plastic packaging being the main culprit. This can leave your business in a tricky situation, especially if you’ve relied on plastic packaging up until now. So, what are the best types of packaging available for eco-conscious consumers in the food sector?

What Is the Best Packaging Material for Takeaways? 

Long gone are the days of wrapping fish and chips in old newspapers — a practice that was outlawed in the 1990s amid health and safety fears — but there are still packaging methods that are in use today that are a cause for concern.

Plastic packaging is experiencing a steep decline in popularity for numerous environmental reasons, but recent studies have found that people are also unwittingly ingesting hazardous microplastics all the time. This is mainly down to the use of cheap to manufacture, low-quality packaging materials like the common plastic takeaway tubs we’re so used to seeing our food delivered in.

You might think it’d be perfectly fine to reheat last night’s takeaway in the packaging it came in, but recent studies by the Harvard Medical School have shown that, when heated, chemicals found in low-quality plastic containers can seep out into the food you’re eating. The shocking revelations don’t stop there, either, since these chemicals can seriously affect your liver and kidney functions, your respiratory and reproductive systems and have been linked to metabolic disorders like obesity. As if there weren’t enough reasons to ditch plastic packaging already…

Alternative Takeaway Packaging for Food Businesses

With more bad press surrounding the use of plastic packaging all the time, businesses need a safe, hygienic packaging alternative that won’t affect their customers’ wellbeing or the environment. This has led to a radical rise in eco-friendly packaging alternatives which are now very much in demand, offering all types of packaging for the food and drinks sector.

The materials used in this kind of food packaging don’t contain any harmful chemicals, nor do they leave behind any nasty reminders of their existence once they start to degrade. But these modern packaging options can make packaging your food products a bit more complicated since not all of the eco-friendly packaging options share the same characteristics as plastic.

Eco-Friendly Packaging for the Food Industry

So, what is the best eco-friendly packaging material for your business? The best packaging materials for your needs will depend on the kind of products you’re selling. Different materials have different key properties, so there’s no one-size-fits-all option, but there are a few essential materials to be aware of that are versatile, cost-effective and eco-friendly:

Cardboard and paper packaging is cost-effective, recyclable and biodegradable, making it a popular choice for takeaway food and drinks. Studies have shown that consumers prefer natural packaging like paper and cardboard due to it’s lightweight and eco-friendly attributes. Our paper and cardboard packaging comes from sustainable sources, making our packaging options even more eco-friendly.

Bagasse is a sturdy, biodegradable and compostable material made from sugarcane pulp. As a by-product of sugarcane harvesting, it’s readily accessible and only requires minimal processing to create a highly durable and environmentally friendly packaging solution. It makes an ideal choice for hot food as it has no effect on the flavour of the dishes being served, nor the environment. 

Bioplastics are a popular alternative to oil-based plastics since they share many of the same characteristics but also boast eco-friendly qualities. Our bioplastic cups and containers are biodegradable and highly resistant to liquids, making them ideal smoothies, milkshakes, fresh juices and other chilled beverages.

Making the Switch to Eco-Friendly Packaging

With plenty of awesome environmentally safe packaging options for all kind of food vendors, it’s no surprise that more and more businesses are making the switch to alternative, eco-friendly packaging
From businesses just starting to deliver takeaways to long-standing takeaway food outlets, business owners are recognising both the ecological and economic benefits of swapping out their plastic packaging for eco-friendly alternatives. Biodegradable and sustainable packaging protects people’s health and wellbeing, provides customers with aesthetic alternatives to plastic and helps protect the planet… what’s not to love?!

Are you still using plastic packaging for your takeaways? Start protecting your customers and saving the planet with our eco-friendly takeaway packaging today. Explore our extensive collection or get in touch with us for more information about how we could help your food and drinks business.

Opening up: What Plastic Is Used for Food Packaging?
Fresh chopped and chunks fruit plastic box display in store at Houston, Texas, US. In-house cut, packed watermelon, mango, cantaloupe, mixed berry, coconut to take away. Convenience, healthy lifestyle

Plastic has been used for food packaging for decades, but is plastic packaging the best option for packaging our produce? Find out with Takeaway Packaging.

Since the introduction of the plastic packaging tax — affecting all packaging that doesn’t contain at least 30% recycled plastic — businesses are having to rethink their packaging strategies to avoid added financial burdens.

This is another move by the government that provides a clear incentive for businesses to use recycled plastic packaging — if any at all — and decrease the amount of new plastic packaging being produced. To understand whether or not you’re affected, you might be asking yourself, “what plastic is used for packaging?”.

Why Is Plastic Packaging Bad for The Environment?

First, we’ve got to understand why plastic is falling out of favour. It’s actually pretty simple: plastic packaging is bad for the environment. Not only is it contributing to all kinds of pollution, affecting marine life and spoiling creatures’ natural habitats, but it also doesn’t degrade for hundreds or even thousands of years. This means that the plastic we use today will be around long after we’re gone, marking the planet indelibly for decades to come.

What Plastic Is Used for Food Packaging?

Most of the plastic used for food packaging is made from crude oil, a fossil fuel that’s notoriously bad for the environment. Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) is typically used for drinks bottles, ready meal containers and produce trays, making it one of the most popular thermoplastics used for all kinds of packaging. High-density polyethylene (HDPE) is used to manufacture plastic milk bottles that require more protection, while polypropylene (PP) is also used for trays and salad bowls in some instances.

While some of these plastics are recyclable, it’s incredibly laborious and harmful to extract the raw elements from the earth to create these kinds of packaging. Not only that, the plastic that’s created takes years to degrade. Even when it does, it slowly spills out all of its toxic contents back into the earth. Although we’ve relied on plastic’s practical and durable qualities, it’s clear that there’s a heavy price to pay for its ubiquitous usage.

Is Plastic Safe for Food Packaging?

Research has discovered that we ingest thousands of tiny plastic particles every year. These take the form of microplastics that are invisible to the naked eye but still end up in our food and drinks. These worrying findings further indicate that we need alternatives to plastic packaging for our food and beverages.

Most plastics — like those used for drinks bottles or takeaway packaging — aren’t meant to be reused as they slowly start to degrade, even after minimal usage. This increases the odds of ingesting microplastics and means that the packaging we’re left with after ordering a takeaway should go straight in the recycling bin — by all accounts, a pretty wasteful practice.

What Are the Alternatives to Plastic Packaging? 

The good news is that there are plenty of suitable alternatives to plastic. Each can be used in a variety of ways to help protect ourselves and the planet, especially since we’re coming to understand why plastic packaging is so bad for the environment.

Cardboard: Usually made from a high percentage of recycled materials, cardboard makes surprisingly effective packaging. In some cases, it’s reusable, but its biodegradable and recyclable qualities mean that, once it’s served its purpose, it can be easily recycled. It can be lined with bioplastics, making it grease-proof and oil-resistant — perfect for pizza boxes

Paper: Also made from totally natural and sustainable resources, it makes the perfect choice for takeaway bags. While the use of plastic bags is in steep decline due to increased taxes and heightened awareness of their negative environmental impact, paper bags make a perfect eco-friendly solution — ideal for takeaways and deliveries.

Bioplastic: A much greener alternative to regular plastic, bioplastics are made from plant-based materials that degrade naturally over time. They don’t leave behind any nasty surprises when they decompose either, they simply return to the earth as natural elements like water, carbon dioxide and non-toxic biomass. Bioplastics are particularly useful for hot and cold drinks containers, as they can be used as biodegradable coffee cup lids or to line the inside of paper beverage containers.

Glass: While suitable for home use, glass is expensive to manufacture and is fragile compared to its other eco-friendly counterparts. Nevertheless, it’s a great option for storing food in your fridge or for cold drinks if you want to avoid using plastic at home.

What Are the Benefits of Avoiding Plastic Packaging?

With so many alternatives to plastic packaging available, you can protect the environment with each of your takeaways without compromising on quality. Each of the alternative materials we’ve mentioned has their own unique advantages, from being 100% biodegradable to sharing the qualities of oil-based plastic without the environmental cost. Why not make the switch to more sustainable packaging and start saving the planet with your takeaways today?

Do you want to become a more eco-friendly business? Explore our range of sustainable takeaway packaging, perfect for home deliveries and suitable for all kinds of food and drink products.

How to Be an Eco-Friendly Company
Business partners walking down in office building and talking.

Becoming more environmentally friendly can be a tricky business. Takeaway Packaging guides you through some easy ways to be a more eco-friendly company.

With plastic pollution on the rise, consumers are becoming more environmentally conscious. Businesses are following suit in a bid to retain their customers and prove to the world that they’re protecting the environment with eco-friendly practices.

Why Should You Be More Eco-Friendly?

Eco-friendliness is far from a fad. In a recent study, it was revealed that at least one in three consumers favour eco-friendly purchasing options. Most customers would pay a higher price for products that are better for the environment. With such a dramatic increase in consumer awareness, it’s easy to see why businesses are going green and capitalising on such a valuable market.

That’s before we mention the positive environmental impact your business could have by being more mindful and reducing waste. Replacing one outdated process or substituting one product for a more sustainable alternative could save your company thousands of pounds in the long run.

How Can You Be a More Eco-Friendly Company?

Changing your business practices to become more environmentally friendly might seem a struggle at first, but it’s a cost-effective and future-proof way to ensure you’re doing everything possible to protect the planet. Why not start with a few small changes that will have a positive impact on the environment?

1. Embrace Remote Working

The flexible working phenomenon has swept across the nation since the outbreak of COVID-19. Government-imposed restrictions have forced many businesses to allow home working for the first time. 

More and more companies –– from global enterprises to small to medium-sized businesses –– are embracing remote working, recognising the nascent benefits of allowing staff to undertake their duties at locations of their convenience. Remote working can save businesses money on running costs while helping to protect the environment by reducing the need for commuting.

2. Encourage Eco-Friendly Commuting

Where remote working simply isn’t an option, incentivise your employees to walk, jog, cycle or use public transport to get to and from your workplace, conserving the planet’s resources and reducing pollution. 

Even car-sharing with a fellow staff member to and from work would essentially halve the pollution created by travelling separately. Encourage and reward these practices to save everyone money and protect the environment.

3. Conserve Your Energy

It’s the little things that will make all the difference. Putting your lights on a timer and ensuring that electronic appliances are switched off when not in use can save your business money on energy bills and reduce wasted energy. 

4. Roll Out Eco-Friendly Packaging

Another small change that can boost your credentials as an eco-friendly company is switching to eco-friendly packaging. Replacing your products and packaging with eco-friendly substitutes will dramatically reduce the amount of non-biodegradable waste your company produces. Investing in packaging made from recycled materials also means that you’ll be reusing resources that we’ve already produced, using less finite resources and doubling-down on the positive impact your company has on the environment. 

Switching to eco-friendly packaging also provides your company with a great marketing opportunity — share the news that you’re going green for extra customer brownie points! You’ll be able to tap into an eco-conscious market that may have previously disregarded your products, expanding your business’ horizons. 

5. Start Recycling Programmes 

Once you’ve implemented eco-friendly packaging alternatives to become a more eco-friendly company, ensure you’ve got recycling programmes rolled out across your business. According to recent studies, a staggering 91% of plastic isn’t recycled, so make sure your company isn’t contributing to landfills or polluting the oceans by not recycling plastic and other materials.

Going Green: How to Be an Eco-Friendly Company

As a business, focus on protecting the environment makes perfect sense. You could save money, protect the environment and gain customers by investing in eco-friendly packaging solutions and ditching unsustainable practices. We’re all in this together, so becoming more mindful of the environment won’t just benefit your company and your customers, you’ll be making things better for everyone else on earth for generations to come.

Interested in becoming a more eco-friendly company? Why not check out our extensive range of revolutionary sustainable packaging and start saving the planet today.