Preparing for the Single-Use Plastics Ban: Sustainable Packaging Solutions for Restaurants and Takeaways

We understand the importance of sustainable practices in the restaurant and takeaway industry and that's why we want to share with you the latest news from the government regarding the upcoming ban on single-use plastics.

Following in the footsteps of Scotland and Wales in 2022, England is set to ban a range of single-use plastics from restaurants and takeaways from October 2023.

This ban includes cutlery, plates, stirrers, food containers made of expanded polystyrene, cups, and lids made of expanded polystyrene.

The environmental impact

It is estimated that in England, around 2.7 billion pieces of single-use cutlery are used each year and most of these are plastic. Similarly, approximately 721 million single-use plates are also used (yet only 10% of these items are recycled). 

To put that into perspective, if you were to line up all 2.7 billion pieces of cutlery (which measure around 15cm each) they would span the circumference of the earth over eight and a half times!

The impact on your business

With costs already rising substantially in most other areas like gas and food; finding reliable, quality, and cost-effective suppliers for sustainable packaging can also be a challenge.

Choosing the right sustainable packaging materials for your specific needs is often a complex process. Plastic may have been easy to work with and now you will have a variety of materials to consider, each with its own pros and cons. It's important you have a plan B supplier until you are confident in your choice of sustainable packaging (to avoid any negative impact on your customers).

Consider materials like paper, bamboo, cardboard, rice husk, and sugarcane bagasse. Each material has its own unique features and benefits. Remember that just because a material isn't banned, it doesn't mean it's not harmful to the environment.

To avoid any last-minute rush for suppliers, we recommend planning early and establishing your supply chains now. Research and trial new packaging in small batches to ensure that you have plenty of options, experience, and contacts to adapt as the situation progresses. Once you have chosen your sustainable packaging material, get feedback from your customers before committing to a large order.

Don't believe the hype, just because the label says sustainable or recyclable, it might not apply to the whole of the packaging so check to ensure it's legal for use from October 2023.

How ZPos can help

Sustainable packaging is a great marketing opportunity for your brand

Talk to us at ZPos about the many opportunities to align your website branding with physical packaging - branded cardboard boxes and paper bags are a great way for customers to showcase your brand. Loyal customers might even be happy to support your business with your own branded items for reuse (i.e. cups and flasks).

We support the push for eco-friendly practices and are here to assist you with the transition to sustainable packaging. Contact us to learn more about our sustainable packaging solutions and how we can help your business become more environmentally friendly.