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Your kitchen without Plastic

It feels impossible to go plastic free nowadays, but even if we can’t solve the problem overnight, there are plenty of ways to help reduce plastic waste in your home to start making a positive impact on our environment.

What happens to all that plastic after we’re done with it? We hope it gets recycled, but not all of it does. Only about 9% of all plastic produced gets recycled, which means the rest is sent to landfills or ends up as litter –all too often ending up in our oceans.

While it would be wonderful if we could snap our fingers and fix the problem, it’s not that simple. What we can control and change in our own households is a first step that can get the ball rolling for a positive change in how plastic is disposed of.

Sweeping changes in your household can feel overwhelming and sometimes impossible, so it’s always good to take it one step at a time. Switch one thing, then when you feel comfortable, switch another. Make your way through the list as it works for your lifestyle and budget.

Making a small change to reduce plastic waste can make a big difference over time!

I’d be willing to bet this morning you usedat least15 plastic products before you even had your coffee! Think about it. You probably:

1.Turned off an alarm clock made of plastic

2.Sat on a plastic toilet seat

3.Opened a plastic door to your shower

4. Turned a plastic knob to turn the shower on

5.Squeezed body wash out of a plastic bottle

6.Pumped shampoo from a plastic bottle

7.Used conditioner from a plastic bottle

8.Dried off with a towel that was hanging on a plastic hook

9.Applied deodorant from a plastic container

10.Brushed your hair with a plastic brush or comb

11. Dried your hair with a plastic hair dryer

12.Styled your hair with product from a plastic bottle

13. Got toothpaste out of a tube that, at the very least, had a plastic cap

14. Brushed your teeth with a plastic toothbrush

15. Put on clothes made with plastic fibers


In the food service industry, there is a move away from single-use plastic cutlery, cups, takeaway containers, and more. With a few tweaks, you could avoid plastic altogether.

How you can do it

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.

Once you’ve established what products you want to avoid, have a chat to your suppliers. Ask them if they have alternatives, and consider the packaging they currently send their products in.

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.

Taking the next steps

There’s an entire community of businesses choosing to go plastic free, which you can tap into. Reusable cup systems are growing fast, where customers can borrow and bring back a coffee cup to multiple businesses within a network.

It’s common now to have a policy where single-use plastic items are only given to customers when they request it. This can be particularly helpful with products like plastic straws, where some people need them for accessibility reasons.

A little bit of creativity can go a long way. Glass jars, with incentives for returning them, can be a great alternative to disposable takeaway containers.

When you’re finding alternatives to single-use plastic, the most sustainable outcomes are achieved by switching to reusable alternatives rather than single-use paper or compostable packaging.  

The Impact

  • Single-use plastics make up 40% of the plastic produced globally. Products used for food service are a large contributor to this, so it’s an area that can make a significant impact.

  • Demonstrating your values to your customers is good for business, and can have huge impacts on the environment. Food service businesses reach hundreds of people – the more people who are aware of the issue and the solutions, the more impact will be made.

So folks, at home or in your restaurant workplace, let's make some steps to make this a better world! Small steps is all it takes! Looking for more information on sustainable hospitality? Consider joining one of our online programs to improve your knowledge in all things hospitality.

Cheers, and have a great week!

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