Which plant tray is the most sustainable?04 March 2020
Nowadays, there are many plant trays to choose from: reusable, single-use plastic or cardboard. What is the environmental impact of these types of packaging? We believe that this is an important issue so we carried out independent research. What were the results?
Cardboard plant trays score better than single use plastic trays. Reusable plant trays are the most sustainable solution and have the least impact on the environment.
Independent research for plant trays
An independent agency has already looked at the impact of reusable and single use plastic trays. The research has now been widened to include four types of cardboard tray, which is representative of the large number of cardboard trays that are in use. We can then compare reusable, single-use cardboard and single-use plastic trays with each other. What are the additional features of this life-cycle analysis?
- It provides an insight into how the different types of plant trays score against environmental aspects such as climate change and water usage.
- It includes the whole life-cycle: from production to collection to use.
- Four destinations were investigated: Arnhem, Berlin, Paris and London.
- It was tested by an independent panel of experts.
The reusable tray is the most sustainable
The research clearly shows that the reusable tray is the most sustainable solution and has the least impact on the environment. Single-use cardboard plant trays score better than single-use plastic trays. The graphic below shows the results per country. The final score is the total score from all environmental aspects. The most important environmental aspects, climate change and water consumption are shown separately.
Click on the image to enlarge.
The results differ per country. For each country, the collection after use can strongly influence this, such as the amount that is recycled. We will publish the full report with all the results later this spring.
The results give clear pointers
The outcome of this independent study provides answers to questions regarding plant trays and sustainability. It provides the users in the chain (suppliers and customers) with the tools to fulfil their packaging needs as sustainably as possible.
The research also shows opportunities for making all types of plant trays more sustainable. More recycling is of particular help for single-use trays. A larger amount of sustainable materials can be used in making reusable trays as well. This fits in seamlessly with what we have agreed in the Plastic Pact NL. As a market leader in transport packaging, we want to do more with less plastic and, together with our chain partners, we encourage the recycling of plant trays.
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