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12 Apr 2023

Go Green, Ditch & Switch

How Independent Restaurant and Café Owners Can Prepare for the Ban on Single-use plastics Coming into Force in October 2023

Starting in October 2023, a ban on several single-use plastics comes into effect. The ban of these items that fill landfill and pollute oceans could have an impact on many independent restaurant and café owners. However, by taking the time to plan ahead, busy owners and staff can prepare for these changes make eco-friendly choices, boost customer satisfaction & minimise the impact on your bottom line.

If you run an business that will be affected by this new law we’ve got your back. We have pulled together this set of steps you can take to ensure the smooth transition to the single-use plastic ban.

1.           Assess your current use of single-use plastic by conducting a thorough inventory helping to identify where single use plastics can be reduced or replaced.

2.           Replace single-use plastic items, such as straws, cutlery, and containers, with sustainable alternatives. For example, switch to paper straws, wooden or bamboo cutlery, and biodegradable or compostable containers.

3.           Display signage promoting your initiative and encourage customers to bring their own reusable containers for take-out orders or leftovers. Look at offering a discount or loyalty points to customers who bring their own reusable carton and bottles.

4.           Stock a selection of reusable cups, bottles, and containers for customers to purchase in different colours, sizes, and materials. Display these items on a dedicated shelf or at the counter to encourage customers to purchase.

5.           Educate staff and customers on the importance of reducing single use plastics and how to properly dispose of any remaining plastics, small actions can make a big difference. Put posters up or ask staff to watch a video....

6.           Work with suppliers who offer sustainable packaging options or who are committed to reducing their use of single use plastics. Check for certifications such as B Corp, which assesses companies’ environmental and social impact, or ISO 14001 certification for environmental management systems.

7.           Implement a recycling program to sort and dispose of recyclable materials in an environmentally friendly way. This includes identifying and separating paper, plastic, and glass and making sure they are sent to the appropriate recycling facility.

8.           Track your progress towards reducing single-use plastics. Take the time to understand how effective your efforts have been and where further improvements can be made. For example, set a percentage reduction goal, share, and celebrate successes on the way with customers, suppliers and other stakeholders showing your commitment to sustainability.

9.           Reducing food waste reduces the need for single use plastics in packaging and helps save money. Plan menus and portion sizes and donate excess food to food banks and local charities.

10.         Use upcycled materials in your restaurant or café, including recycled paper products, furniture, and decor.

Napkins, menus, and placemats made from post-consumer waste and can be composted or recycled after use.

Tables, chairs, and counters made from salvage materials.

Preloved vintage items sourced from second hand stores and charity shops.

By taking these actions, as independent restaurant, and café owners you not only prepare for the upcoming ban on single-use plastics, but also demonstrate your commitment to sustainability,  boosting your reputation with current & future customers. What’s better than doing good things for the environment whilst saving money and boosting sales at the same time!

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