Becoming an Eco-Friendly Restaurant

Did you know that single-use plastic will be banned by late 2021? Find solutions that will help your restaurant adapt to this new reality while helping the environment!

Mirary Montero

Updated 9 months ago · 6 min read

During this global pandemic, many restaurants have been forced to do delivery or takeout which means using more disposable containers. Most of which are plastic containers or cutlery. Recently a new law has been passed to ban single-use plastic by late 2021, which is the next step towards the plan to zero waste by 2030, and we will all have to adjust to this change.

A delay to the ban

During the pandemic, Canadians were worried about this ban due to the health and safety issues of covid-19, they were more comfortable with plastic and how it is only used once and then it’s disposed of. Therefore, the ban was delayed but it is back on track to be banned by the end of this year.

Why might this be relevant to me as a restaurant owner?

Some of the common examples of single-use plastic include disposable cups, shopping or takeaway bags, food takeout containers, disposable cutlery, plastic straws, and expanded polystyrene foam containers. The impact of these items can be crucial for the environment as plastic bags take 15 years, plastic cups take 50 years, beverage holders take 400 years to decompose, respectively.

So, what are my options as a restaurant owner?

In this article, I will show you some alternatives to single-use plastic that you could implement in your restaurant. The most common option is using paper bags instead of plastic bags and using cardboard containers instead of plastic containers, but what about cutlery?

Maybe cutlery made from Avocado Seeds!

There are a lot of new innovative developments of cutlery made from different materials. There is cutlery made from avocado seeds and they decompose in 240 days. The benefits of this are that they reuse the avocados instead of throwing the seeds away and it does not require water to make. There is also edible cutlery an example of this is an invention of spoons and chopsticks made from rice, wheat, carom seeds, jawar (sorghum), and black pepper. They can be eaten after being used, could also become food for insects or just decomposed which will take 5-6 days. The spoon will not get soggy with water or food when you start eating your food and it is also strong enough to be able to be used with hot soups and liquid food. After being used for 15 minutes, it will slowly soften to be easily eaten after your meal. There are also spoons made from potato peelings that decompose in 2 months. They are just made from potato and water using the starch coming from the potato.

Or if Avocado is not the option, banana leaves?

For plastic cups, there are cups made from banana leaves that can hold significant weight. It is chemical-free and biodegrades quickly.

How about brown seaweed?

If you want to put a sauce in a sachet there are edible sachets made from brown seaweed. This would be especially perfect if you are a sushi place and you have soy sauce in plastic sachets but need to make the transition into plastic-free options. It can also be used if you are a healthy place and you have vinaigrettes for salads. The sachet is flavorless so it will not affect the flavor of the sauce you add inside of it. After using them they will decompose in your compost bin. You could also place the sauce in a small cardboard container that can be recycled.

Well then you have other options:

Other alternatives to solve this problem will be to sell reusable cutlery, such as bamboo or metal ones. Then regular customers will simply ask for no cutlery when ordering delivery or takeout because they will already have their reusable cutlery or have some at their house.

A small but important step towards a greener future starts with you

There are many more options of alternatives to plastic that can be explored but these are just a few of them. It is up to you to decide how you are going to make a change and act on this important issue by getting rid of using this harmful material for the world called plastic. Why this is important is because to ensure that your restaurant can be run for generations to come, ensuring that we have an environment for the future generations should be considered. Do not let the actions of today be the demise of your future business, make the small step towards a greener future.

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