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New LCA research measures the environmental impact of takeaway containers

A new study from the University of Manchester used LCA to estimate the impacts of containers, taking into account their manufacture, use and end-of-life waste management and found that the styrofoam container was the best option among the disposable containers across all the impacts considered. However, styrofoam containers are currently not recycled and cannot be considered a sustainable packaging option. The research estimates that there are 2025 million takeaway containers per year being used in the European Union (EU) alone and that finding a way to recycle disposable takeaway containers, like styrofoam, could help reduce equivalent greenhouse gas emissions generated annually by 55,000 cars. The researchers investigated 12 different environmental impacts, including climate change, depletion of natural resources and marine ecotoxicity. Access the study here.

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