How to Make Your Fast Food Takeaway Business More Eco-Friendly

The  latest figures from the Office of National Statistics revealed that there has been a 34% increase in fast food outlets across the UK since 2010. Whether those new outlets take the form of kebab shops, fish and chip shops or branded takeaways, there’s no denying that there are many more outlets on our streets in 2019 than there were a decade ago. These outlets come with one unavoidable side-effect – more waste.

Walk around the streets of any town and you’ll see the results of this. A  survey back in 2011 found that fast food wrappers were the most likely to be dropped in the streets, and with council budgets stretched by austerity, this situation is likely to have worsened over time.

At the same time, consumers are becoming more aware not only of the mess on their streets, but also what impact that rubbish is having on the environment.  Single-use plastics are a big part of that, including many of the elements that make up the average fast food outlets ecological footprint – containers, straws, cups and plastic bags.

While the government continues to consult on measures that will make single-use plastics more expensive for businesses, now’s the time to change your business practices for the better. You’ll be ahead of the regulatory curve, you’ll save yourself money and you’ll be a more attractive proposition to consumers who won’t see your unrecyclable rubbish drifting across the streets. Plus, small changes by all of us are one step towards making a huge difference globally!

8 Practical Solutions to Make a ‘Green’ Difference

These are just some of the ways you can start to make your fast food outlet more eco-friendly. If you can’t implement them all at once, don’t worry. Every little helps when it comes to saving the planet.

Ditch Polystyrene Boxes

★ Ditch Polystyrene

Did you know materials such as Styrofoam can never be completely recycled? If you were around in a few hundred years, you’ll still find remnants of those containers in landfill sites. So, start by swapping out all your polystyrene boxes for those made from other materials like  bagasse that are biodegradable. This reduces the amount of non-recyclable materials your business is helping to send to landfill and stops those unsightly boxes bouncing across the road right outside your outlet.

Single Use Plastic Cutlery

★ Stop Using Single Use Plastic Cutlery

If you run an outlet where plastic cutlery feels like a necessity, you might be wondering how you cut this out of your business without leaving your customers trying to eat curry with their fingers. However, thanks to technological developments,  compostable cutlery is not only available, it’s more economical than ever. By switching to compostable knives, forks and spoons, you won’t be losing any of the convenience of supplying cutlery for your customers to take with them, but you won’t be supplying them with more single-use plastics that will end up in landfill.

Paper Straws

★ Use Paper Straws

Plastic  straws are in the news so often these days that most people are aware of the sheer scale of the problem with them. Approximately half a million plastic straws are used globally every day, but consumers are refusing them more frequently. That’s great, except that some drinks like smoothies and milkshakes require straws, so why not stock paper straws instead? It’s worth remembering, though, that there are some disabled people who find it impossible to use paper straws so going 100% paper might exclude some of your customer base.

Refillable Sauce Bottles

★ Buy Refillable Condiment Bottles

This is one that you might not consider because, compared to cups and cutlery, you might go through comparatively few  condiment bottles. However, buying refillable ones allows you to refill from a huge bottle, saving plastic on individual bottles every time the sauce runs out. If you offer packets of sauce in your outlet, switching to this method will save even more plastic.

Brown Takeaway Bags

★ Use Paper Takeaway Bags Instead of Plastic

Since supermarkets in the UK were forced to start charging for single-use plastic bags, the consumption rate has dropped, but those rules don’t currently apply to many fast food outlets and so plenty are still in circulation. Worldwide, only 1% of these bags are recycled, so the vast majority end up in the ocean or in landfill. Your outlet can help combat this by switching to  paper bags which are biodegradable and won’t cause pollution when discarded by your customers.

Recycling Bins

★ Encourage Customers to Recycle Via Different Bins

If you have any seating in your outlet, it’s likely that customers will dump their waste before they leave. If you give them  different bin options, they’re more likely to start recycling on the spot. A good example of this is aluminium can recycling bins which are widely used across the UK. Don’t stop there though – if you’re offering anything in your outlet that is recyclable, make sure there’s a bin there to accommodate it. At the very least, it reminds your customers that the material they’re about to discard could have a second life.

Eco Coffee Cups

★ Introduce Biodegradable Hot Drink Cups

Coffee cups are another big problem in global pollution with 500 billion disposable cups used by consumers every year. Thanks to innovations, though, there are now biodegradable options which don’t have layers of unrecyclable material within them as many so-called “paper” cups do. By switching to these cup options, you’re cutting your business’s carbon footprint. You can also offer discounts to customers who bring their own cups – this has proven to be a great strategy for corporations, so why wouldn’t it work for you?

Cooking Oil to Biofuel

★ Recycle Cooking Oil into Biofuel

Did you know that there are companies that will collect your used cooking oil and convert it into renewable energy? If this is something that interests you, collections can be arranged at a frequency that suits your business and you can generally store the used oil in the same containers it came in ahead of collection. Some companies will even supply containers of their own for you to store the used oil in.

Cooksmill catering superstore

Your one-stop-shop for eco takeaway catering supplies

One thing is for certain – the need for eco-friendly fast food solutions isn’t going anywhere. In fact, it’s intensifying with every passing year. So, why not get your business moving forward into the green revolution by shopping for eco-friendly fast food packaging and supplies? Cooksmill have a wholesale & public  catering supplies superstore in Manchester open 7 days a week or you can buy online 24/7 with FREE UK Mainland delivery for orders over £50 (ex-VAT).

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