6 ways you can help your restaurant limit one use plastic

By 4.1 min readPublished On: May 30, 2019

In the restaurant business, the use of plastic can sometimes be unpreventable, as it serves many purposes and plays a vital role in our consumption of food.  So going plastic free for a business can seem like a daunting process. While a lot of plastic is made for longterm use, and can be re-used, you will find that when it comes to plastic for restaurants most items are one use only and that is where the problem lies. A lot of restauranteurs are unsure how to start with the removal of one use plastic items in their restaurant, so thats where we step in.
Below are 6 ways you can limit your plastic use in your restaurant today.

1. Get rid of plastic straws

Straws in a restaurant are a necessity and are us, so you can not remove the complete use of straws . Did you know that they are used for roughly 20 minutes, but can last in a landfill or the ocean for 20+ years and are the top items picked up from littering.
How can you change it?
Now a days finding a sustainable alternative is easy.  You can opt for re-usable straws like steel or glass, or go for recyclable options like bamboo or paper.

2. Change your takeaway containers

Takeaway containers are littered frequently because they are usually used away from home. They are often made of polystyrene, which is toxic, and pose many health concerns for not only our wildlife, but us as well. We recommend that polystyrene is NEVER used for food packaging.
How can you change it?
When it comes to containers there are several options.
-BYOC (Bring your own container) You can allow customers to bring there own containers for takeaways or left overs.
-Provide re-usable containers. You can sell containers, or offer a discount on a next purchase when the containers are returned.
-Some businesses assume that plastic containers are the only choice due to hot liquid or the need for containers to be freezable. However there are many options that are compostable and will work for heat and freezing.  Make sure you check that your products are not only biodegradale, but compostable too. Products made from Biocane (bagasse) are a good example of this, and then the obvious is for food that is not wet, cardboard is also an option.

3. Cut back on the plastic cutlery, for delivery

Lets be real, if your delivering food to someones home they have cutlery. So there is no need to provide plastic utensils with every delivery order. The majority of single-use cutlery given with delivery orders end up being thrown straight into the garbage without being used. Takeout, however, is trickier because a customer might want to eat on the go.
How can you change it?
Try adding a form to your online ordering to your form that says, “Do you need cutlery?” . You can also make sure your staff ask takeout customers this question when they order over the phone.
If you do need to provide cutlery go for bamboo/ wood  this would be the best option.

4. Say no to plastic plates and cups

Please if customers are eating in serve them in re-usable plates and glassware.  There is no need to use paper and plastic items that get one use.

How can you change it?

You can opt for reusable items for starters. Choose stainless steel cutlery and ceramic plates. These items are cost-effective in the long run and reduce waste volume and costs to your business.

Alternatively you can consider 100% compostable items that meet home compost standard. For plates and bowls, choose items made sustained, preferably – biocane (bagasse). For cold cups, look for paper.

5. Buy inventory in bulk

You won’t only reduce your food costs when buying in bulk, but you will help save the environment-so why not? When you buy in bulk you receive less packaging therefore limiting your trash output.

6. Go for paper bags, not plastic

Plastic bags are usually the cause of wildlife entanglement and ingestion. Degradable and biodegradable bags are NOT a good alternative. Degradable bags break into small pieces quickly and are readily ingested by wildlife. Biodegradable bags take up to 2 years to biodegrade in the environment, and by that time they have often done the damage.
How can you change it?

-Provide sustainably sourced paperbags

-Provide recycled cardboard boxes
-Encourage customers to bring their own bags
The shift to sustainability is all on us. We all need to do our part to help the earth, even if it costs a bit more.  These small changes will make a huge impact on the environment. You will help by keeping our waters clean and gain more like-minded customers that will return to your restaurant because they like your values.
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See you next week!
Your devoted hostess,

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