Just how environmentally friendly are our reusable containers?

Reusable containers could actually have a higher carbon footprint than their non-reusable counterparts. Image: Unsplash/ Syed Hussaini

Joan Manuel F. Mendoza

Research Fellow in Circular Economy and Industrial Sustainability, Ikerbasque Foundation

Adisa Azapagic

Professor of Environmental Chemical Engineering,, University of Manchester

Alejandro Gallego Schmid

Senior Lecturer in Circular Economy and Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment, University of Manchester


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A: aluminium (single-use); B: Extruded polystyrene (Styrofoam®; single-use); C: Polypropylene (single-use); D: Polypropylene (reusable). Image: Alejandro Gallego Schmid, Adisa Azapagic, Joan Manuel F. Mendoza

The number of uses of a reusable container needed to equal the impacts of a single-use Styrofoam® container. Image: Alejandro Gallego Schmid, Adisa Azapagic, Joan Manuel F. Mendoza

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Single-use containers are often more convenient for consumers. Image: ArnoldUspt/Pixabay

What is the World Economic Forum doing about plastic pollution?

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Related topics:

SDIS2021Plastics and the EnvironmentClimate ChangeAgriculture, Food and Beverage


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