In this modern environmentally conscious world, it’s important that restaurant and café owners make thoughtful decisions with regards to the food and drink packaging they use. You may find that your café is packed full of Millennials; a generation, that according to many reports, is statistically more in tune with the environmental impact of the resources they use than the generation before them. It therefore pays to make the right decision when deciding which takeaway container your organisation will serve its food in, not only for the betterment of the environment, but to show those ever- enthusiastic millennials that your company really does care.  And, it’s important to note that according to one recent American study, two thirds of millennials are willing to pay more for products from sustainability-focused companies.

So, let’s consider the different products available. There’s Styrofoam – it’s been around since the early 1940s but is generally considered to be the most environmentally obnoxious of the products. Polystyrene is produced using petroleum which is a non-renewable resource that is already limited in supply. It’s not biodegradable, and let’s face it that’s one of the first things a modern environmentally conscious consumer will think of when you hand them their take-away food container.

If Styrofoam isn’t popular, what about plastic?  Let’s face it, plastic looks good, displays your delicious looking food well, and its easy to seal lids make it perfect for takeaway customers, right? Well, they’re certainly widely used. But there’s another thing us human beings care about and that’s our health. There’s somewhat of an anti- BPA craze going on, suddenly people are fans of having toxic chemicals surrounding their food. Shocking. Perhaps choosing plastic containers that are BPA free would work in your favour? But BPA free products are rarely disposable and more likely reusable. So, unless you want to put up a sign telling your customers to bring in their own BPA-free reusable takeaway containers, you may want to re-think plastic.

Bamboo. sugarcane; these words bring up visions of a beautiful untouched environment. And the great news for you as a restaurateur is that food packing containers are available in this amazing plant based renewable resource. And to top it off, they’re compostable and biodegradable. Unlike the Styrofoam which takes around 20 generations (500 years) to decompose, sugarcane biodegrades in around 60-90 days. And unlike plastic, these products won’t release toxins into your customer’s bloodstream.

With your choice of sugarcane or bamboo, I can almost hear the millennials making their way to your café where they will most certainly tweet or Insta’ about how #environmentally #friendly #you #are.

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