Procurement criteria for recyclable food packaging

In a nutshell

This tool encourages procurers to include a criterion in calls for tenders for the use of recyclable plastic packaging, like PET. Plastic packaging is a recognised method for preserving food quality and mitigating food waste. Rice, pulses, meat, dairy products, and other food products will often be delivered in plastic. By including a criterion on the use of specific types of plastic packaging, a procurer can help create a trend that may impact the whole supply chain by encouraging suppliers to deliver products packaged in recyclable plastic. The tool could therefore be a significant way to help reduce plastic waste.

Necessary Steps

  • Create a call for tender which includes a full list of the food(s) you plan to procure (“list of food”).
  • As an awarding criterion, include PET packaging and define its share of the total award criteria (e.g. “PET packaging counts 5 % of the total award criteria in the tender”).
  • Define how the bidder gets points. For example, points could be awarded according to how many of the products from the list of food the bidder delivers in PET packaging instead of other plastics.
  • The procurer then assesses the packaging criterion by counting the number of product lines marked with PET packaging, each line giving a score of 5 points.

More Issues To Consider

  • The tool is most relevant in a context where appropriate recycling systems have been established.
  • The tool works best in situations where (often larger) kitchens have procedures for sorting waste.


The information on this page about the use of the tool “Procurement criteria for recyclable food packaging” is only provided as a general guide and is not intended as a substitute for the user to check the respective public procurement regulations. We compiled the content to the best of our knowledge, but do not assume any liability for completeness and correctness. We do not assume any liability for the user to verify the applicable procurement law provisions in the respective national state.

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