Guilt-free with plastic-free takeaway

Do you get the guilts from plastic lunch-on-the-go containers? Does plastic packaging turn you off takeaways altogether? Maybe you don’t think about it.

I read an estimate that plastic in the ocean will outweigh fish within 30 years. It could be a statement about overfishing but it’s more about the vast amount of plastic that finds its way into our waterways annually. Plastic litter from takeaway is the primary source of plastic pollution.

The war on waste is making inroads. KeepCups and mug libraries are reducing one-use coffee cups. The ‘straws suck’ campaign is having an impact, replacing plastic straws here, there and everywhere with waxed paper or metal straws, or just good old-fashion nothing. Bamboo and other biodegradable cutlery are becoming more common. So it seems that the ubiquitous plastic container might be the last bastion of takeaway food waste.

Some really good alternatives exist.

Estimates indicate Australians throw away around TEN BILLION dollars of edible food a year. Did someone say leftovers?

Alternatively take a reusable container to your favourite takeaway lunch spot; there are some sweet sustainable lunchboxes on the market now a days. But let’s face it, sometimes a BYO is not convenient.

Guilt and denial are not helpful emotions and they’re also no longer necessary with a new initiative implemented by Tasmania’s own Liv-eat this month to coincide with Plastic-free July.

For the price of a refundable deposit, you can grab your lunch to go without contributing to our burgeoning landfill problem.

Liv-eat has three massive things going for it.

One, it’s a Tasmanian business that started small and is now smashing it with nine outlets statewide.

Two, it has healthy, delicious food like salads, bowls, sandwiches, breakfast, sweeties, juices and smoothies. You can buy meals ready to eat or you can design your own.

Three, they have a sustainability ethos, committed to supporting local suppliers and local communities, and with predominately takeaway trade, reducing the impact of their business on the environment.

Case in point, their priorities for 2019 include reducing landfill by expanding their KeepCup program, introducing cardboard straws and bio-alternative cutlery and implementing BYO salad bowls with RETURNR.

“We have been researching a suitable food packaging solution to minimise our environmental footprint for some time and RETURNR is the best solution that we have found,” Liv-eat cofounder Troy Sutcliffe told us.

RETURNR is making custom-designed stainless steel bowls and cups available at participating cafes and restaurants for takeaways, a practical solution to eliminating single-use takeaway food packaging. Launched the bowl in Melbourne in late 2018 they estimate that around 85000 single-use plastic bowls have already been diverted from landfill.

“By introducing RETURNR, we are empowering our customers with the choice to make a more environmentally conscious decision. The more people that get onboard, the greater impact for Tasmania,” Troy said.

We want to keep Tasmania clean and green so implementing initiatives like RETURNR locally have the capacity to drastically reduce plastic use and landfill. That’s something to get behind.

What can you do to reduce plastic waste and landfill?

  1. BYO lunch
  2. BYO takeaway container
  3. Eat in
  4. Support businesses like Liv-eat who are implementing waste reduction initiatives like RETURNR.
  5. Ask your favourite takeaways and restaurants to implement waste reduction initiatives like RETURNR.

The $6 deposit is redeemable once you return your packaging to a participating restaurant.

For more information visit RETURNR.

For more information on the Tasmanian business Liv-Eat.



2 thoughts on “Guilt-free with plastic-free takeaway

  1. Great initiative. Thanks for sharing. I’m one of those people that feel guilty about using single use plastic take away containers. I also didn’t know they were a Tasmanian owned business. Ticking a lot of boxes there…

  2. Great post! Also check out (a Tassie-born initiative), as there are quite a lot of places around Hobart that will accept BYO containers for takeaway food 🙂

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