As more consumers turn to foodservice outlets for meals and snacks, foodservice operators must be ready to meet this demand and decide how to best serve their customers. They need to do this in a cost-effective, safe and sustainable manner, and they have two choices—reusable packaging, or single-use packaging that provides more economic, operational and sustainable benefits.

A new resource available for foodservice operators from the Foodservice Packaging Institute, Stacking Up Single-use Versus Reusable Foodservice Products: Considerations for Foodservice Operators, breaks down the differences between single-use and reusable packaging. The PDF resource document can be downloaded here.

In addition to defining foodservice packaging, it explains how single-use packaging is simply a better choice in terms of:

  • Cost: Single-use packaging eliminates initial purchase costs, permanent labor costs to wash and store reusable items, and ongoing costs for detergent, water and energy.
  • Environmental protection: Single-use packaging can often be recycled or composted instead of being landfilled.
  • Operational management: Reusable packaging requires space to wash the dishes, as well as store them. Plus, reusable packaging must be collected from customers.
  • Safety and sanitation: Reusable packaging must be properly washed and stored after each use, whereas single-use packaging arrives clean and ready for use.
  • Convenience: Single-use packaging allows on-the-go customers to enjoy hot foods and beverages anywhere, not just in the confines of foodservice outlets.

For more information, contact the Foodservice Packaging Institute at (703) 592-9889 or at

Founded in 1933, the Foodservice Packaging Institute is the trade association for the foodservice packaging industry in North America. FPI promotes the value and benefits of foodservice packaging and serves as the industry’s leading authority to educate and influence stakeholders. Members include raw material and machinery suppliers, manufacturers, distributors and purchasers of foodservice packaging. 

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