The next time you’re in the office during lunch hour, walking through a local market or out in a public park, take look at the people eating around you. The food many people choose to snack on seems more often than not to be held in some sort of single use takeout container. This wasteful packaging is commonly made from either aluminum, polypropylene or extruded polystyrene. These are all a major contributor to ocean pollution and global warming. Combined with single use cutlery, lunchtime meals have become a leading producer of plastic particles floating in our oceans, now outnumbering fish. The production of aluminum containers causes more harm to the depletion of the ozone layer and has the highest human toxicity of the three. Polypropylene makes the worst impact on our environment, and extruded polystyrene is not recycled. We’ve come across a Kickstarter project titled PACKD Lunch that is not only a solution, but THE solution. A revolutionary reusable and sustainable lunch box for takeaway food designed to eliminate the waste from the tens of millions of single use takeaway lunches consumed each day and billions annually.
Bettina Garnier, an innovation & strategy consultant, along with designer/architect Laura Burley, founded this London based cleantech startup. Their estimates are that 5 million takeaway lunches are purchased daily in the United Kingdom alone. A 2018 study published in the Journal of Cleaner Production highlights that more than 1.8 billion aluminum containers (12,680 tonnes) are used each year in the UK. Nearly 8 billion extruded polystyrene containers (58,500 tonnes) are used in the USA. The global takeout/delivery industry is expected to rise above $102 billion in 2020.
Tremendous support from both shop owners and consumers
To combat the climate crisis Bettina and Laura set up a pilot program with 75 employees from 10 local London businesses. Using their prototype containers, participants visited a popular lunch time market to gather reactions from both consumers and vendors. Designed for chefs and shop owners to use, acceptance has proved simple. One vendor is quoted as saying “this is important for all takeaway food businesses.”
An unsurprising amount of positive feedback has been received and 96% of customers signified an intention to continue using the product post pilot program. A large part of that acceptance has to do with the fact that one reusable, sustainable PACKD Lunch box can replace 250 single use boxes.
An incredible, sustainably designed sustainable lunch box
Using shatter-proof glass made from recycled drink bottles collected in Japan and metal reusable cutlery PACKD Lunch created a truly sustainable product. The insulated lunch box is leak proof, microwaveable safe and elegantly designed to hold either your homemade lunch or a takeaway meal.
How to support the oceans and environment through PACKD Lunch
The Ocean Cleanup is currently doing damage control with a system designed to remove trillions of plastic particles from our oceans, but the effort will prove useless without a fundamental change in our daily behaviors. We can start with our meals. To support PACKD Lunch, visit them now on Kickstarter. The money raised from their current campaign will be used to manufacture the first batch of lunch boxes available for purchase this fall.
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