The use of single-use disposable packaging is growing, forecast to reach more than $24 billion by 2023, thanks to the popularity of meal-delivery apps such as Uber Eats and DoorDash.
Efforts to create more sustainable alternatives are on the rise, but plastic and polystyrene products will still dominate the market for the foreseeable future.
The Freedonia Group report, however, does suggest that there are some promising signs for the sustainability of the industry.
Major markets such as New York City and Maine, for example, have recently banned expanded polystyrene (EPS) single-use products.
The report notes that alternatives to single-use packaging – such as paper, paperboard, bagasse and bioplastics, as well as reusables – are making a small dent in the use of more traditional, environmentally damaging products, though more innovation is needed before they take over completely.
Many alternatives materials, The Freedonia Group suggests, are not up to the standards of plastic single-use packaging, with leaks a frequent complaint.
Last year Congress even considered the issue of single-use plastic. Read more below: