Restaurants: You Can Still Reduce Your Plastic Footprint During the Pandemic!
- Skip disposable cutlery and straws – you’re delivering to customers at home, where they likely already have reusable cutlery to use! Save some money and prevent waste by simply not providing cutlery with take-out or delivery options, or only provide it on request.
- Hold off on condiment packets – again, customers may already have commonly-provided condiments such as ketchup, mustard, or soy sauce at home in larger containers. Consider providing condiment sachets or to-go cups only on request to save money and prevent packaging and food waste.
- For pick-up orders, allowing customers to bag their own orders in reusable bags saves staff time and reduces customer contact while preventing waste from disposable bags. For contactless deliveries, bags may not be needed if food can simply be placed (in containers) at a customer’s door.
Download the Toolkit:
With these simple strategies, you will reduce waste and protect landscapes and wildlife – all while saving money and helping your business thrive. What’s inside:. What’s inside:
- Plastic Footprint Assessment Tool
- Foodware Cost Calculator
- Step-by-Step Plastic Reduction Plan Guide
- Results from real restaurants
- Sample Disposable Products Business Policy
- Extra Resources for Tackling Plastic in Your Community
- NEW: Customer Education Templates & Ideas
- NEW: Guidance on Reusable Materials and COVID-19
Tools for Concerned Customers
If you’ve been ordering more take-out while staying at home and trying to support your favorite local restaurants, you’ve likely accumulated (or thrown away) a lot more plastic than usual. But for customers concerned about plastics, there are still sustainable take-out options! Check out the following resources and be sure to share with your family and friends to spread the word. Even when there’s not a global pandemic, there are plenty of ways to get involved in reducing your community’s plastic footprint. Try downloading our leave-behind cards to let your favorite local businesses know that you’ll support their efforts to reduce waste, and be sure to check out our Plastic Policies Library for sample ordinances that address single-use plastic waste.”
Sustainable Take-out Tips
- Tackle Marine Debris at the Source with Plastics Reduction Policies in Your Community. Check outSample Plastics Policieswe already have on our website!!
- You can share facts, graphics, videos and other content from environmental groups like Plastic Pollution Coalition,5 Gyres, Lonely Whale, Clean Seas, Clean Water Action, One Green Planet, and Surfrider, and EPA’s Trash Free Waters program.
- Find certified compostableproducts through the Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI).
- Find paper and wood products certified sustainable by the Forest Stewardship Council.
- Contact Clean Water Action’s ReThink Disposable project, a technical assistance program that helps restaurants reduce disposable products. Their Reusable Food Serviceware Guide, educational graphics, and other helpful resources are available online.
- Join Surfrider’s Ocean Friendly Restaurantsprogram to become a certified “Ocean Friendly Restaurant” and gain national and local recognition.
- Take part in the Plastic Pollution Coalition‘s campaigns to spread the word about plastic pollution and learn about additional actions you can take to stop it.
- Join Lonely Whale’s #StopSucking campaign to challenge your customers to skip the straw.
- Check out 5 Gyres’s Better Alternatives Now List 2.0for more information about the top polluting products and better alternatives.
- The Safety of Reuse During the COVID-19 Pandemic
- For more guidance on restaurant sustainability, visit the Green Restaurant Association
- Plastic Pollution Coalition: General Community Resources for COVID-19
- INDISPOSABLE: The Safety and Future of Reuse