The world is consuming more food, and spending more on it, than ever before. Economic development, population growth and the obvious human need to eat mean the food industry will never fall out of favour. Aren’t we blessed to have so many different cuisines to choose from? However, whilst the ingredients, cooking techniques, and flavors differ from one cuisine to another, there is one constant – they’re all packed in the same takeaway bags, boxes, and containers. Sadly, whilst the food we consume enriches our bodies, the packaging it comes in is largely responsible for the destruction of our planet.
The consumption of takeaway food has been increasing steadily over the last decade, but the pandemic has taken it to a whole new level. While the Uber Eats and Deliveroos of the world made a killing with their increased sales over lockdowns, the non-recyclable, single-use cups, plates and cutlery made a killing elsewhere. A study published by Nature last year found that takeaway packaging contributes to 88% of the world’s coastline litter. Fruit and vegetable smoothies detoxify our bodies but the disposable cups they’re served in contribute to the multifaceted toxification of our planet. Smooth!
The world produces more than 300 million tons of plastic every year, out of which only 9% is recycled. The rest of it reaches our landfills and can be found floating on our oceans’ surface. The convenience of a takeaway meal before an essay-deadline at University or an important client meeting at work is unparalleled, but if we all knew the straw we used is going to choke a sea turtle to death off the coast of Indonesia, would we continue living like this?