Reusing tableware seems intuitively better for the environment. Considering all impacts, however, this is often not the case, as demonstrated by certified and 3rd party reviewed comprehensive Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) study carried out by Ramboll, an independent Danish consultancy.
Single-use fibre-based packaging used in quick service restaurants for in-store use results in very significant environmental benefits over its life cycle, from climate change to freshwater consumption. In 6 of 9 categories, including climate change and water usage, single-use paper products perform significantly better than reusable tableware*. Beyond these benefits, paper is one of the few genuinely renewable materials, it does not need energy to be washed and dried, and unlike its reusable tableware alternatives, whether they are made of ceramic, glass or plastic: