Three years ago it seemed as though compostable containers were going to save the planet and the compostable coffee cup was the answer to all of our guilt and shame around our unsustainable habits.
Two years ago we commissioned some research based around environmental decision making (link to research page) and wrote a report on the findings. One of the strongest take-homes from it was that there is no difference between compostable and recyclable single use packaging. You can have a look at that research here.
Since then, we have been using a mix of recyclable and compostable take away containers, depending on the item. But in all cases the best option is always for re-use. Anything new that is created for purpose of single use is always going to have substantially more environmental impact than something that has been re-used. This isn’t always possible for us though with customers who want a disposable container and Covid certainly threw a few spanners into the headway that was being made in the zero waste movement and re-use culture around the beginning of 2020.
As things begin to settle now within the pandemic hopefully we will see a return to emphasis and energy being put back into tackling the waste produced by food businesses. The Fumbally included.