toast that needs no toaster

Do we need to rethink sustainability?

Some facts: Thin and small foil packaging is not being recycled. Neither is the packaging of toast. After use, it is transported by a truck to a waste incineration plant, where it is burned in order to at least regain the energy from that foil. At the same time, we plug in a toaster at home to toast the toast. The toaster is made of an enormous amount of prec­ious materials, which are processed in a such way that hinders recycling and it uses electrical energy when toasting.

So, what if we use the energy of the packaging direct­ly and burn it on the table and thereby toast the toast? Why not save all the hassle, materials and transportation?
This proposition is truly possible – by using PE, a ­common packaging plastic, that burns without toxic by-products. From an environmental point of view this concept makes sense: According to the MIPS1 concept the estimated environmental impact potential of a toaster toasting 100 toasts is about 60 times bigger than for 100 ToToGo toasts. (considering the material inputs for the production of the toaster, the used energy to toast the 100 toasts, the packaging and the transportation of the toaster and the packaging of 100 toasts – not including the toasts themselves.)

What does this venture mean for us as consumers, for the toaster industry and for our general perception of sustainability?

1         MIPS: material input per service unit, a concept to determine the environmental impact potential developed by the Wuppertal Institute

student:Julia Ernst