Assessing circularity in terms of environmental impacts and supply chain. A case study of reusable food container service in Indonesia

Examensarbete för masterexamen
Ghassani Ramadhina, Putri
Afina Wardhani, Nadhira
In the battle against plastic waste, reusable packaging is hailed as the adversary to the rising dependence on single-use packaging. However, reuse system is mostly suffered from impacts from considerable weight of the reusable packaging compared to single-use and higher energy requirements for reverse and redistribution logistics, as well as water heating for cleaning purposes. This study investigates the environmental impacts contributed by both single-use and reusable packaging in the context of online food delivery using Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and qualitative analysis under a framework of Closed-loop Supply Chain, using a real business case in Jakarta, called Allas Circular Packaging, where the company provides product-service system (PSS) of reusable containers to restaurants for food deliveries. The LCA results were used to quantify necessary break-even point for reusable packaging to fully offset the impacts of the single-use. Allas, restaurant, and logistics service provider are the respondents for the qualitative research to define the challenges arising from the implementation of the supply chain. The results showed that one-time usage of reusable silicone packaging system yields two to six times higher environmental impacts than the single-use, particularly caused by the use of silicone material and motorcycles for transportation as depicted in global warming, human non-carcinogenic toxicity, and terrestrial ecotoxicity impact categories, and the water used for washing in water stress index (WSI). It requires four to six uses at minimum to offset the first three impact categories, while WSI prevents any break-even point. In addition, the challenges in the supply chain lie in the obscurity in the value chain, inefficient packaging return mechanism, lack of communication with each actor, including customers, and different mindsets on the selection of sustainable packaging. Considering the break-even point and its feasibility, the reuse system should be well supported by proper measures and policies to be widely used in online food delivery businesses.
reusable packaging, silicone food container, reuse LCA, online food delivery, closed-loop supply chain, environmental break-even point
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