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Repurposing Plastic in the Professional Kitchen

I have had issues with recycling since childhood. Apparently I suggested long before it became a thing, to charge by the bag for garbage. Must have been a brighter kid than I

Anyway this post is more about how to use plastics in an interesting way. And by being resourceful, we are contributing to the reduction of waste. As many of you know, I am currently in Ecuador, one of the greenest places on earth. However there is a side to Ecuador that bothers me. they use unbeleivable amounts of plastic. Every little thing you purchase, comes packeged in plastic on top of plastic..This is what inspired this blog.

First, lets discuss a few oridnary ways to reduce, reuse and recycle in the food service industry.

To get an idea of just how much single-use plastic you’re using in your business, consider conducting a stock room or bin audit. This will help you to create an inventory of the disposable plastic items currently entering your business, things like milkshake cups, coffee cups, plastic plates, knives, forks. Many businesses switch from single-use items when they realise just how much money is wasted on buying these kinds of products.

From there, start small with your changes. Pick one thing that you can choose to refuse, and substitute it with an alternative.

Some options include:

  • Swap single-use condiments for large bottles that can be refilled (eg soy sauce, tomato sauce, mayonnaise, butter, jam, vinegar, salt, and pepper).

  • Swap plastic cutlery for reusable metal ones or consider renewable or compostable cutlery for take-away dining.

  • Swap plastic plates for ceramic.

  • Encourage customers to bring their own container when ordering take-away.

  • Encourage customers to bring back cup holders for reuse.

  • Offer filtered water in glasses instead of plastic water bottles.


Anybody that knows me, knows I love cookies. Of course I can't always have homemade, so I keep packaged cookies around for my consumption. I do recycle the materials, but every now and again, I come across some interesting forms that the cookies are packaged in. Like the photo on the right, I used the packaging to produce house made peanut butter cups. Made with Victory chocolate and Ecuadorian peanut butter, they were fantastic! The presentation is a little rough, but the essence of the child like dessert plate is evident. Anyway folks, have a great weekend! Stop by Monday for some more chocolate talk as I continue my journey here in beautiful Ecuador.

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