Reusing and recycling EPS—Denmark shows the way
The three R’s of the circular economy are Reduce, Re-use and Recycle. A food delivery service in Denmark has achieved outstanding results in re-use and recycling rates with EPS food boxes.
Food delivery service RetNemt Måltidskasser offers ready-made, high-quality, mostly vegetarian meal boxes for people who don’t have time to cook full meals every day. It offers a variety of different menus and size options. Yet they all have one thing in common: they are delivered in EPS (“Flamingo”) boxes packed with ice that can keep the produce fresh for up to four days.
Moreover, the company collects the boxes with the next delivery, then cleans, disinfects and re-uses them as many times as they can. When the boxes can no longer be used because of damage, they are granulated and sold to a local insulation company (yes, EPS also makes good insulation for buildings, helping to reduce their carbon footprint!).
Overall, Denmark is a leader in plastics recycling, in part thanks to a design guide published by the industry that offers a step-by-step decision tree to help companies pick the most appropriate materials and recycling processes for their packaging. It is estimated that 70% of Danish EPS food delivery service packaging is recycled.
So EPS protects the objects that it transports, keeps them fresh thanks to its second-to-none insulating properties, helps avoid food waste, and after a long life as re-usable packaging, it gets recycled into its second life as insulation that helps Denmark’s houses and office buildings cut their carbon footprints. That’s pretty smart packaging.