Independent analysis reveals reusable packaging up to 85% more climate-friendly than single-use

7th of December 2020

Zero Waste Europe, the University of Utrecht and Reloop we released a report highlighting that reusable packaging – such as bottles, crates, jars and others – produce far fewer carbon emissions than their single-use counterparts. The findings of the report include:

💥 Reusable glass bottles produce 85% fewer carbon emissions than a single-use glass bottle, 75% fewer carbon emissions than plastic (PET) and 57% less than aluminium cans.

💥 Likewise, a reusable plastic crate produces 88% fewer carbon emissions than a single-use cardboard box, 64% fewer emissions than a box made with mixed materials, and 5% fewer emissions than a wooden crate.

💥 How packaging is transported, including distance and mode of transport, has the biggest effect on a piece of packaging’s environmental impact.

The report also identified key measures that can improve the environmental sustainability of reusable packaging, such as standardisation of packaging, implementing deposit return schemes, and changing how the packaging is transported, all of which can bring down the carbon emissions of reusable containers. 


Download the executive summary

Download the report

Download the policy briefing

Download the infographic