Sustainability is a key factor when it comes to buying and packaging products like kraft paper bowls, paper bags with handles, aluminum foil containers, and more. When looking for sustainable options, many businesses are turning to take-home packaging. In the food industry, take-home packaging is a common type of packaging. It has been found that take-home packaging is more sustainable than traditional packaged products. Take-home packaging is more readily available and less expensive to produce than conventional packaged goods, which is one of the reasons it is growing in popularity.
Many restaurants are now investing in environmentally sound product packaging that provides clear hints about how to properly dispose of it. Not only are environmentally friendly choices better for the environment, but they may also make you more marketable to your customers and help you save money.
What are the benefits of using sustainable packaging for restaurants?
Reduce waste: Packaging waste is any product used to protect or wrap goods, such as food. This is where restaurants play a major role. You not only waste items from higher up in your supply chain but also waste most of your takeout containers, bags, or containers.
Improve the perception of your brand: According to a Nielsen study, millennials are 1.5 times more likely to purchase a sustainable product from you than from comparable rivals. Promoting environmentally friendly take-out packaging can enhance the perception of your brand and influence consumer purchasing decisions.
How Do You Choose the Right Packaging?
There are three types of sustainable packaging available: recyclables, compostables, and reusable. All three types of sustainable packaging can have benefits for your restaurant. Nevertheless, deciding which one to use can be challenging depending on the type of food you serve and how your customers recycle them.
The most common products are aluminum and plastics, such as polypropylene (number 5) or polyethylene (number 1). Plastic number 5 is better at keeping food warm than other options. This is something that most restaurants need to consider when changing their packaging. Styrofoam can technically be considered plastic, but most restaurants won’t accept it due to the many problems with recycling it. If you decide to recycle, the container must clearly indicate the recycling number so that the consumer can easily see it. It is their responsibility to wash the container and then recycle it properly.
This option is more difficult and more confusing to understand. Your packaging must be properly disposed of if it is marked as “compostable.” Many people believe that if something is recyclable, they can throw it out with the rest. That’s not accurate. The compostable materials are made to be composted in a compost facility. This provides the environment necessary for composting in a very short time. To make this an eco-friendly option, customers need to properly dispose of the packaging.
For this reason, it is necessary to discover the locations of your nearby composting facilities. Two examples of materials that can be composted are polylactic acid and paper. Brown kraft paper bags can be used for dry foods or any other food that could leak into the paper. The paper will not be compostable or recyclable if it becomes saturated with grease, for instance. Even though PLA is made of organic materials like corn starch, it has the durability of plastic. PLA has a higher thermal conductivity than regular plastics. This makes it ideal for hot food storage. Because they have fewer chemicals that can leach into food, compostable containers are healthier for the environment.
Reusable food packaging is a type of sustainable food packaging that is made from materials that can be reused multiple times. This allows for the package to last longer and be used more often, leading to a more sustainable impact on the environment. Additionally, reusable food packs can be cheaper to produce and use than traditional packaging options. Reusable food packs can, however, only be successful if certain conditions are satisfied.
It’s not enough to just change your containers. You can do more than simply make takeout sustainable. You need to pay attention not only to the appearance of your food but also to how much single-use plastic is used for delivery and takeout.
Customers who dine in are guaranteed that the food arrives at the correct temperature and is presented well. When someone orders the same dish for delivery or take-out, this is often not true. Before they even sample the food, you want them to have a positive first impression of your restaurant. If the food looks like it’s been thrown in a container, it can make the restaurant look careless and unprofessional. Also, ensure that bread and other items that could become soggy are not mixed in with the rest of your meal. To ensure freshness, let the customer put together sandwiches, tacos, and hamburgers.
Extra condiments and utensils that come with takeout meals are frequently thrown away by customers. Ask your customers if they’d like these items to reduce waste and save money. These items can be requested by customers who are environmentally conscious.