If you run a takeaway or any sandwich or fast food outlet, why not consider switching to zero waste containers? As well as being better for the planet, they also work out cheaper for your small business.
CauliBox is a leak-proof and odour-proof box with a lid that seals perfectly and can be used in the dishwasher and microwave. Made in the Czech Republic, it is working with offices, schools, hospitals, hotels, food courts, restaurants and zero waste stores. Founded by London professionals who aim to save 15 million disposable containers each year, they found that 11 billion pieces of packaging waste are produced yearly for food-on-the-go. Switch if you can!
The UK sends out around 500 million disposable takeaway cartons each year, and Just Eat in London is one of the first to pioneer reusable packaging. Using ClubZero, customers can opt in when placing an order, then return their boxes to a drop-off point or arrange to collect via the Clubzero app. So far this has saved 1.5 million items, and then they also sell reusable returnable beverage containers.
Who’s Using Zero Waste Takeout?
Stephensons offer reusable takeaway boxes, which can be used as part of a deposit return scheme. They are made from plastic, but at least they can be washed and reused, to cut down on disposable plastic. Not perfect, but getting there!
Millions of people are not going to stop using takeaways anytime soon. A lot of the new vegan fast food chains are already going zero waste with biodegradable containers. But what of the main brands that have millions, if not billions of customers?
McDonald’s recently switched to paper straws, but had to reformulate them as the first ones didn’t work (it also rather defeats the object, when the paper straws are then stuck in plastic cups). And there was an almighty backlash with 50,000 customers (yes, you read that right) launching a campaign to bring back plastic straws, as the paper ones ‘went soggy in their McFlurry’. Tell this to the hundreds of thousands of sea turtles that die each year in the sea, from plastic straws. You really could not make this crap up.
One clever farmer came up with a brilliant idea. Fed up of his animals having to deal with plastic waste thrown out of windows from takeaway trips, he wants car registrations written on receipts. So people who throw the packaging out the windows (which often lands in farmers’ fields) then get a fine through the post, just like if they had been caught speeding. Why is no-one taking this up?
McDonald’s has recently paid a fortune to redesign its packaging for a new ‘feelgood design’. Likely the whales and other marine creatures that end up accidentally eating it (as filter feeders) won’t feel good about their packaging, unless it’s totally biodegradable and compostable, which it’s not. Burger King is trialling reusable packaging and has the aim to recycle all its packaging by 2025. Considering it’s a massive multi-million pound company, it’s a question as to why they can’t recycle everything now, it should not be that hard in a world of zero waste shops that can manage to not make any waste at all.
A lot of words like ‘recyclable’ and ‘sustainable’ are going on around the big fast food chains. Still it may be greenwashing, but we should support any positive moves, as they will make a big difference, considering so many people eat there. One good thing that McDonald’s has recently decided to do, is to phase out its plastic toys in the children’s meals. The laws are odd in the US in that they refuse to allow Kinder egg imports (citing the plastic toys inside as a choking hazard) yet happily let McDonald’s sell happy meal toys for presumably decades.