Taking your own container while getting a takeaway is one of the best ways to avoid single use disposable containers.

Hacks for bringing your own reusable containers for take-out food

There's something deeply satisfying about tucking into delicious food from your favourite takeaway store. Whether you have a habit of treating yourself on a Friday to end the week on a high or instead opt for a mid-week pick-me-up, eating takeaway food at home is one of life's simple pleasures. The modern world has made it so easy to have an expertly cooked meal delivered to your doorstep. So what's the catch? 

Unfortunately, most takeaway food venues serve their meals in plastic single-use containers. Worldwide, nearly 40% of plastic is used for packaging food and beverages. As a result, the world is facing a global waste crisis, with landfills reaching full capacity long before predictions. 

Many eco-focused individuals are working towards a zero-waste lifestyle by focusing on minimising and preventing waste. Food packaging is a great place to start. While reusable coffee cups have become acceptable at most coffee shops, some people in the food industry are reluctant to accept reusable containers from customers. So understandably, the idea of making a fuss at a restaurant by offering up a stack of reusable takeaway containers can be a little confronting at first. However, with a few hacks up your sleeve, you will be pioneering the eco-friendly movement in your neighbourhood in no time. 

Hack #01 - Always Have Reusables On You

This hack seems simple enough, but having reusable takeaway containers on you every time you leave the house is a surefire way to prepare for any spontaneous food-related plans. The convenience of having your stainless steel set or reusable cutlery with you whenever you are on-the-go means eco-friendly choices are more manageable. Keeping your reusables in your everyday bag or in your car may be more accessible depending on your daily routine.

Hack #02 - Be Prepared For The Occasion

While having your daily reusables on you at all times is an incredible hack when eating just for you, lugging around enough containers for takeaway for the whole family isn't ideal for every day. So when grabbing food for a group, plan what you will be purchasing and how many containers you will need to transport your goods home. 

Hack #03 - Make Sure Your Containers Are Clean!

Making sure your takeaway reusable containers are clean is essential to making restaurants feel comfortable with bypassing their own plastic packaging. Sustainability and eco-friendly choices can sometimes be viewed as inconvenient. So to ensure companies' cooperation, being as accommodating as possible is key. Offering up a dirty container can be off-putting for the staff and cause issues for food safety company policies. There is no legislation that stops businesses from accepting containers from customers; this is a business decision, so make sure all containers are clean! 

Hack #04 - Be Both Brave And Polite (Remember The Planet Has Your Back)

From time to time, you might run into a restaurant owner or employee who just isn't as sustainably focused. It happens – using single-use plastic packaging is something that many companies have been doing for years. Understandably a large restaurant chain may already have its processes down pact, and an interruption to their system could cause confusion and sometimes frustration. Remember to be polite while not panicking and hiding away your containers if there is initial resistance; there is no harm in asking.

Hack #05 - Explain Your Reasoning

Many restaurants may not have experienced a customer bringing reusable packaging into their store; if this is the case, they may not understand the reason for your request. However, many restaurants want to offer customers quality service and will be willing to accommodate to ensure customers return (and tell their friends). Therefore, a simple explanation, without lecturing, is a great way to ensure you and the restaurant are on the same page. For example, a simple "I'm avoiding plastic" or "I am trying to reduce my waste" can indicate to the staff the motives for your reusable packaging.

Finally, if it isn't possible, don't blame yourself – you have done everything you can. Unfortunately, some businesses may not want to participate, and you can't win them all!


By Tayla Nova 

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