The shift from disposable plastic to recyclable paper has been logical, economical and ecological, and it made sense in every industry it has been applied to. The latest development in pizza packaging might be a little harder to grasp though, as it could be seen as a step backward to employ permanent plastic in place of recyclable paper.
One pizzeria in Ohio is betting that permanent plastic pizza containers will be more economical and ecologically friendly than recycled paper pizza boxes have been. Knights Pizza in Convoy, Ohio, is making the leap and now offering its customers plastic pizza boxes in an effort to stimulate business and help the environment. As part of the plan, Knights is selling empty plastic pizza boxes for about the same price an actual pizza in a cardboard box would cost at $12.95 each.
One might be tempted to ask, “How can an empty $13 plastic box be good for both the business and the ecosystem?”
The reasoning behind the permanent plastic pizza boxes is that it is hoped they will last longer and be used more often. The plastic containers can be reused up to 500 times and customers will get a $1 discount every time they show up with their empty box. This means the pizzeria has a loyal customer who is likely to repeat order at least 500 times and the landfill only receives one spent pizza box per 500 pizzas consumed. The customer should be happy because he is going to save $500 (minus the original cost of the plastic box) over the life of his $13 investment. The pizzeria is happy and the planet might even be happy too. Who knew plastic could be so ecological?