Steel lunch boxes: an environmental nightmare.
You may have seen recent advertisements and promotions for lunch boxes made of steel: Healthier! Better for environment! Well, I do not know about healthier, but environmentally, they are a nightmare. At least, as compared to plastic ones.
Here is a picture of two lunch boxes (both about 2 cups in volume) that I own:
The first difference between these two boxes is their weight. The steel lunch box weight about 160 grams (about 5.6 oz), while the plastic one is only about 32 grams (1.1 oz), including the cover. And of course, the more of something you need to make, the bigger impact it will have.
The second difference is that steel making is really dirty business. One need to dig up the ore, smelt it, forge, etc, etc. All that is using a lot of energy and resources, and is producing a lot of pollution. Compare the CEII for the two lunchboxes:
It is incomparable: the damage done to the environment by using the steel boxes is order of magnitude bigger than by using plastic ones. So please, do not be deceived! Steel is not environmentally friendly -- quite the opposite.