Ok, so you use a keep-cup, a reusable water bottle, take your own shopping bags to the supermarket and you’re looking to take the next step in being an eco-warrior; using a BYO container for your takeaway food!
TRASHLESS TAKEAWAY is a self-funded project by husband and wife team Kim and Nyssa, based in Tasmania. Their website helps customers find restaurants and cafes that accept reusable containers. The majority of businesses listed on Trashless Takeaway have been submitted by the community – passionate people who have spoken to their local cafés and restaurants, and who have taken the time to submit these businesses to this site.
- The benefits for customers are that you can avoid plastic toxins leaching into your food from the usual takeaway containers.
- You can save money as some cafes and restaurants give discounts for bringing your own container and helping the planet at the same time.
- Food can taste better if you avoid plastic containers.
- You can reduce your plastic footprint and be a part of the solution, rather than adding to the mounting plastic waste problem.
THINGS TO REMEMBER
Plastic Lasts Forever
Plastic does not biodegrade; it only breaks down into smaller and smaller particles and accumulates in our environment. According to Trashless Takeaway, in Australia, we generated 2.5Mt of plastic waste in 2014-15 (107kg per person). Of this, only 14% was recycled and the remaining 2.2Mt went to landfill.
Plastics in Our Environment
Wildlife including seals, birds and fish are threatened by ingesting and becoming entangled in plastics that drift into their habitat. Plastic particles also accumulate in landfill where toxic chemicals can seep into groundwater and downstream water sources. It is estimated that around 8 million tonnes of plastic enter our oceans each year.
Plastic in Our Food Chain
Microplastics are ingested by vast numbers of marine species, and we eat some of these marine species, enabling toxins to enter our food chain. This includes heavy metals which are readily absorbed into plastic.
While single use plastic takeaway containers are convenient, the rate in which they are used and then discarded is not responsible or sustainable as they create a long-term environmental problem. For this to change, we may all need to forgo a little convenience – and just like we had to get used to taking a reusable shopping bag with us to the supermarket – we need to take our own containers to restaurants and cafes to get our takeaway food.