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3 ways restaurants and coffee shops can help save the environment

3 ways restaurants and coffee shops can help save the environment

Plastic! What was once advertised as a godsend has gradually become a nuisance, every year tons of plastic ends up in landfills, in the ocean and jeopardises our wildlife, but all is not lost this month is Plastic-free July, a campaign started by the Plastic Free foundation[], their goal is to see a world without plastic waste by challenging millions of people around the world to choose to refuse single-use plastics, there has been a global effort by individuals, non-profit organisations and corporations all contributing to reducing the use of plastic and to recycle.

Here are 3 ways you can help to reduce the use of single-use plastic

  • Switch to paper/bamboo or stainless steel straws:

    Straws are a touchy subject of late and for good reason, unfortunately not all plastics are recycled and end up in a landfill. Plastic straws and other items smaller than about 2-3 cm tend to fall through the machinery that sorts our recycling and ends up in a dump, coupled with the way some countries dealt with trash in the past and littering in general, a lot of it ends up in our oceans and on the side of the roads.

    Switching to paper straws is just one way to reduce the use of plastic straws, they are recyclable and biodegradable. If paper straws aren't your thing consider selling Bamboo or stainless steel straws, these reusable straws offer a way to reduce the sheer number of straws that need to be recycled and is a great way to advertise your business!

    KFC has joined the movent to reduce single-use plastics by dropping plastic straws KFC Final Straw instagram post

  • Switch to cardboard food containers:

    Polystyrene or foam food containers are used by many fast food establishments and restaurants alike to put food in for easy transportation, regrettably, polystyrene foam doesn't biodegrade easily, switch to Cardboard containers, like paper it is easier to recycle, and it is biodegradable, many of these cardboard containers are made up of 50% recycled material already!

    McDonald's french fry cardboard container
    Companies like McDonald's have taken the lead to use less plastic and foam food containers, their aim is for all main meal and side salad options to be served in cardboard containers around the world by 2025.McDonald's to stop using plastic lids for McFlurry packaging

  • Encourage the use of travel mugs:

    As mentioned earlier polystyrene or foam food containers do not biodegrade easily, to help reduce the use of the Foam cups when selling coffee on the go, some coffee shops have taken the initiative to BYO coffee cups to reduce waste.

    Some campaigns include offering a discount to patrons who bring their own travel mug, or when they buy a travel mug from the coffee shop.

    Here are two examples of how local coffee shops are reducing single-use packaging:

It is not too late to be apart of this global movement, incorporate these 3 tactics into your business and help to reduce the use of single-use plastic today!