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.