Reduce Plastic Waste

You may have been considering reducing the amount of plastic waste your business produces but don’t know where to start. Where possible look to eliminate single use plastic items such as:

  • takeaway containers
  • straws
  • bags
  • cutlery
  • plates
  • cups and
  • water bottles

If you are unable to eliminate these items, you can use recyclable or compostable alternatives. In addition to eliminating single use plastic items and using recyclable items you can encourage your customers to bring their own takeaway containers and coffee cups or set up a swap and go system.

Reducing single use plastic waste is a great idea and can help your business to:

  • Decrease packaging costs over time as more customers bring their own containers
  • Attract new customers who want to support a business making a difference
  • Reduce your carbon footprint and contribution to landfill
  • Help to keep local spaces clean from litter

If you do want to encourage your customers to bring their own takeaway containers and coffee cups you should look at providing advice or information about what types of containers you can accept. Let your customers know that their containers need to be in a clean and sanitary condition and that they should be sturdy and fit for purpose. Also, if size is important, provide a size guide as well. You can choose not to accept a customer’s container if you feel it is not suitable for any reason. 

If you are using containers and cups brought in by your customers:

  • Make sure they are clean and sanitary
  • Avoid cross contamination by filling the container in the service area and avoid taking them into your kitchen
  • It’s also a good idea to finalise the payment before filling the customers container or cup. This will help avoid any issues of food waste if the payment is declined for any reason.

If you have any questions about the food safety issues associated with customers using their own takeaway containers and coffee cups or setting up a swap and go system, ask your Environmental Health Officer at your next assessment or Contact the Environmental Health team for further advice.