Plastic Free July 2020: Day 7 – Takeaway Containers


These last few months, the issue of takeaway containers seems more relevant than ever.  We used to be able to eat in and utilize our own reusable containers for leftovers. But now, as most food vendors have been limited to takeout only, we have no choice but to purchase the whole meal, already packaged, to-go.

On top of that, many places have reverted back to using plastic containers, either due to cost, convenience or availability.

Read: How Long Does the Coronavirus Live on Surfaces?

It’s been a real obstacle for me personally. I want to be able to support local establishments, especially now. But I also don’t want to contribute to landfill because I have to rely on non-recyclable takeaway containers, often packaged in plastic bags.


So here are some tips:

If you do find an establishment still using compostable boxes, show them your appreciation and support their business by spreading the word. We humans are much more likely to complain about service than praise it, let’s change that!

If your favorite local business is using plastic, and you have more sustainable options available, consider buying a gift certificate from them. It supports the business immediately and gives you an opportunity to go back when they reopen for dine-in services (or even better, switch to compostable materials!)

When calling to order takeaway food, make it clear what items you do or do not need. Since you hopefully have reusable items with you (or back at home, wherever you plan on eating) let the restaurant know that you don’t need their single-use utensils, napkins, condiment cups, or even a plastic bag.

At some point, I think we all had a kitchen drawer full of soy sauce packets, single-use chop sticks, McDonalds ketchup packets, bags of plastic utensils with a salt and pepper sachet, etc. The break room at your work might have a similar drawer. Instead of stockpiling these landfill items like it’s the Book of Eli, stop accumulating them!

Just say no.



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