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Takeaway cutlery & containers

When getting takeaway (or ordering in), it’s easy to forget about the plastic cutlery and containers they provide. Bringing your own alternatives can make a huge impact, though.

What you can do

Choose to refuse single-use plastic cutlery, plates and takeaway containers.

How can you do it

If you’re going to be getting takeaway and eating it on the go, pack a set of reusable cutlery to take with you. It doesn’t have to be a special set – just a regular knife and fork from your home wrapped in a cloth, pouch, or container will work. You can also get lightweight bamboo cutlery or a spork (knife/fork/spoon all in one) designed specifically for taking with you.

For times when you’re taking food back to your home or office, let the restaurant or cafe know that you don’t need cutlery. Most delivery services allow you to add a note saying the same thing, too.

As for takeaway containers, some restaurants and cafes allow people to bring their own containers from home. If you have a favourite go-to for takeaway, it’s worth finding out if they’ll let you bring a reusable alternative.  

Taking the next steps

To go a step further, you can encourage and support businesses to rethink and reduce single-use plastics. Let them know about reusable alternatives they can use instead, or ask them to consider welcoming customers who bring their own containers.

You can also encourage schools, child care centres, your workplace, and other establishments you’re connected with to rethink their use of plastic cutlery and takeaway containers.

The impact

  • Single-use cutlery is used for a few minutes and discarded to remain in the environment forever. Even compostable cutlery has its limitations.
  • By choosing to refuse single-use cutlery and takeaway containers, you can help set a precedent for sustainable alternatives and show how easy it can be.

More ideas

What others do

Glass of lemonade, bunch of straws and a plastic juice bottle

To find plastic free ideas, take the Plastic Free July challenge

Reusable carry bag, keep cups and bamboo cutlery
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