Economics of reuse for street vendors in india

India’s thriving street food sector, currently reliant on single-use plastics (SUP) for packaging, faces a pressing need for sustainable alternatives.

This report by Searious Business, the National Hawker Federation (NHF), and Zero Waste Europe delves into the economic feasibility of a novel reuse system tailored to Indian street food vendors.

While SUP has long been affordable and accessible, it poses substantial environmental challenges, particularly concerning petrochemical production and post-use disposal. The report conducts a robust cost-benefit analysis to address these concerns, comparing the current SUP system with the proposed reuse system. The study’s key objectives encompass an extensive evaluation of the financial implications, costs structures, and potential benefits associated with both systems, emphasising a focus on commonly used street food packaging items – including plates, bowls, cups, and takeaway containers.

Available in English

RSVP – Blueprint for harmonising the implementation of takeaway food and drinks packaging systems for reuse in Europe

This draft blueprint results from the enhanced collaborative work that has taken place under the umbrella of the  pan-European ReuSe Vanguard Project (RSVP), which includes the main learnings from the co-designing phase of city scale-up projects with local reuse ecosystems in five countries. This is, thus, a work in progress.

This blueprint aims to support and harmonise the creation of a well-performing and resilient reuse infrastructure development model in urban areas across Europe; and its scaling up in the next few years, starting with the key sector of reusable take-away food and drinks packaging. This sector has experienced an unprecedented rate of dynamism and innovation over the last few years and can be instrumental in setting up urban infrastructure which could later be used by other product and packaging categories.

Available in English.

Packaging at the Core – Infographic

The overall production of packaging and generation of packaging waste has been steadily growing over the past 20 years. These infographics, produced as part of our #GETBACK campaign, compile evidence of the aspects of packaging pollution and demonstrates how solving the packaging issue can help tackle other major world problems.

Available in English.

Packaging at the core

This paper compiles evidence of the boundless aspects of packaging pollution, and demonstrates how solving the packaging issue can help tackling other major world problems, such as global warming, toxicity in our food and beverages and waste trade.

Available in English.

Packaging Reuse vs. Packaging Prevention

When dealing with packaging there seems to be a confusion between the actions referring to reuse and to prevention. Despite the fact that both contribute to reducing waste arisings, from a policy-making perspective, they should be treated as different concepts.

In view of the upcoming revision of the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive (PPWD), this paper aims to clarify what should be defined as packaging reuse and what should be defined as packaging waste prevention and which are the policy measures that encompass one and the other.

Available in English.

#GetBack: Making Europe transition to reusable packaging

The clear limitations of single-use packaging are being exposed, and reusable packaging is now standing high on the agenda of policy-makers and key market players.

This report aims at bringing the evidence needed (from a quantitative and qualitative aspect) for determining the product categories that are most suitable for the transition of some packaging from single-use to reusable options.

Full report and policy recommendations are available in English. Executive summary is available in English, French, German, Dutch and Spanish.

ReuSe Vanguard Project (RSVP) – Deciphering the EU’s Packaging Landscape

In spring 2021, Zero Waste Europe (ZWE) started the ReuSe Vanguard Project (RSVP). The goal of RSVP is “Reusable solutions for packaging for beverages, take-away drinks, and food as well as online delivery to get to scale in Europe and become the new normal in the sectors selected”. An essential part of RSVP is to “map the packaging landscape in Europe and detect the Ecosystemic Leverage Points (ELPs)” through an iterative collaborative research. ZWE tasked Recycling Netwerk Benelux (RNB) to take the lead in this iterative collaborative research.

Out of the 20 original products, seven were selected for additional qualitative assessment, namely: cleaning agents, dry food, soda drinks & (sparkling) water, postal services, take-away & delivery meals, take-away warm drinks, and wine.


Available in English.