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Food For thought – ‘Takeaways’ From Food Packaging Pollution

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?

In a cruel twist of irony, the plastic container holding your favourite fish cakes ultimately will disintegrate into microplastics, ingested by fish in the ocean, which are in turn consumed by us. Believe it or not, the Ellen MacArthur Foundations predicts there will be more plastic than fish in our oceans by 2050. Plastic is already in our bloodstream, but sustainability is in our DNA and we have what we need to turn the tide.

Most single-use plastic in takeaway packaging can be replaced using paper-based packaging and many countries have already banned single-use plastic with others rapidly falling in line. Companies like envoPAP that make various food packaging products (food wraps, takeaway bags, sandwich and burger boxers and more) hold the key to solving this plastic problem and making ordering takeaways guilt-free again. envoPAP products are designed to have minimal impact on the planet by emitting 28% less carbon than wood-based packaging and complying with 4 end-of-life streams (biodegradable, compostable, recyclable and marine degradable), so you can be sure you’ll never see our products washing up on beaches and disrupting the marine ecosystem.

The only disruption we are guilty of is positive and the need of the hour – to take away the toxicity from takeaway packaging. For more information on how we save the planet every day through our products, please visit

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