Independent Study Finds Changing QSR In-Store Restaurants



Independenttudy reveals that the change in store QSR reusable dining room dishes would be the equivalent of adding 1 million more petrol cars to Europe’s roads

Publishing an updated Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) comparing single-use and reusable dishes is a major contribution to understanding the drivers of low-carbon circularity and ensures that decisions that affect the future of Europe are based on evidence.

The LCA, commissioned by the European Paper Packaging Alliance (EPPA) and led by Ramboll, a leading independent engineering, design and consulting company, compared the environmental impacts of reusable single-use tableware systems and paper-based used for on-site meals. European Quick Service Restaurants (QSR) today. He found that, contrary to widely held perceptions, reusable tableware has a significantly higher environmental impact than single-use, paper-based systems in areas that have a crucial impact on climate change.

Reusable crockery systems generate 2.8 times more CO2– emissions equivalent to the single-use paper system and consume 3.4 times more fresh water.

Using new data available, Ramboll updated its original study published in January 2021 and concludes that the reusable tableware system generates 2.8 times more CO2 equivalent emissions than the single-use system based on of paper and consumes 3.4 times more fresh water in today’s QSRs. The reason is the amount of energy and fresh water needed to wash and dry used dishes and meet the standards needed to avoid cross-contamination, which is even more important during a global pandemic.

Subsequent analysis of these results showed that the full climate impact of switching from in-store meals to reusable products in European QSRs would be equivalent to adding 1 million more gasoline cars to European roads. The amount of fresh water used to wash reusable dishes would equal the fresh water needs of a city of 750,000 people. This runs counter to the goals set by both the EU Green Agenda as well as the UN SDGs and is of great concern as it hinders the real need to tackle climate change today and progress made by the packaging industry in developing environmentally sustainable packaging solutions. Huhtamaki calls on the EU and other global institutions to use evidence such as Ramboll’s LCA to guide its decision-making to ensure the best possible solutions for consumers and the environment.

The updated study also found that increasing the recycling of single-use, paper-based items further reduces their environmental impact, especially compared to many reusable tableware products that cannot be recycled or have negative consequences. low recycling levels. For example, by increasing the recycling rate of single-use paper-based tableware from 30% used in the Ramboll study to 70%, the freshwater consumption benefit of paper-based packaging increases by 3.4 to 228 times better.

Eric Le Lay, president of Huhtamaki’s Fiber Foodservice Europe-Asia-Oceania business segment and current president of EPPA said: “Despite widespread misconceptions, current scientific evidence clearly proves that reusable products have an impact. important environmental. Based on real data, there is no longer any doubt that single-use paper-based food packaging offers significantly better environmental results; support public health and European consumers. We should stop the guessing game by seeking viable environmental solutions, trust science, and work together to make our economies circular. With the right infrastructure to recycle single-use paper-based packaging will help Europe achieve low carbon circularity and its Green Deal targets. “

For more information:
Katariina Hietaranta, Head of Media Relations, tel. +358 10 686 7863

Global communications

More information on LCA is available at

About Huhtamaki
Huhtamaki is a key global provider of sustainable packaging solutions to consumers around the world, promoting wellness and convenience. Our innovative products protect food and drink on the go and on the shelves, ensuring hygiene and safety, and helping to prevent food waste. We embed sustainability in everything we do. We are committed to achieving carbon neutral production and designing all our products to be recyclable, compostable or reusable by 2030.

We participate in the United Nations Global Compact and since 2020 we have received an MSCI ESG rating of A, on a scale of AAA ?? CCC. To play our role in managing climate change, we have defined scientific objectives that have been approved and validated by the Science Based Targets initiative. Huhtamaki received the Gold Medal from EcoVadis for its sustainability performance.

With 100 years of history and a strong Nordic heritage, we operate in 36 countries and 84 locations around the world. Our Care Dare Deliver values ​​guide our decisions and help our team of 19,700 employees make a difference where it matters. Our net sales in 2020 totaled 3.3 billion euros. The Huhtamaki group is headquartered in Espoo, Finland and our parent company, Huhtamäki Oyj, is listed on Nasdaq Helsinki Ltd. Find out how we protect food, people and the planet on

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