Let's remember one more time The three r of environmentalismSince, sometimes, it seems that there is only talk of the last one, when, in reality, it is the least important in the long term: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. Reusing objects is the first step so that new ones do not have to be manufactured (no matter how much it goes against the consumerist system in which we live) and constitutes one of the three golden rules of environmentalism and what must be given priority, before to recycle. However, reuse does not always have to be the best alternative.
A research work at Michigan State University (United States) has compared reusable plastic boxes and single-use cardboard boxes for transporting fruits and vegetables. The study found that reusable plastic packaging required 39% less energy, produced 95% less waste and generated 29% less greenhouse gas emissions.
However, the results were totally different in a study carried out a few years ago by the Polytechnic University of Valencia (UPV) and the Technological Institute of Packaging, Transport and Logistics (ITENE) regarding the shipment of tomatoes in refrigerated trucks from Almería to Hamburg ( Germany). The researchers compared whether these tomatoes were shipped in single-use corrugated cardboard or collapsible plastic (once empty) boxes. The main conclusion was that the environmental impact of single-use corrugated cardboard packaging was lower than that of reusable plastic in six of the ten categories analyzed (including climate change), even considering the hypothesis of 100 reuses of plastic boxes.
So which method is better? It depends on what is done with the packaging. And it also depends on other factors, mainly the distance when traveling. In long distances, it is more efficient to take care of the environment to use plastic boxes. Perhaps the next question would be: how many harmful emissions have been produced by conducting the two studies cited?
In any case, unless tomatoes are to be transported to Germany, it is preferable not to throw away the fruit box and reuse it to store books, records or other objects, to sit on it, to build shelves (much cheaper than those of the Ikea) or for any other use that comes to mind.
If you want to read more articles similar to Reuse fruit boxes, we recommend that you enter our category of Crafts with recycled material.