If you own a takeaway or food catering company, you’ll know how important it is to select the right packaging. As well as ensuring your food and drink items stay intact and tasty, selecting the right packaging can also have a major impact on the environment.
One of the packaging materials widely used by takeaway owners is plastic, but at what cost? In this blog post we’ll take a look at plastic and, in particular, plastic packaging, to see how it poses a huge threat to not only the planet we inhabit, but also our health.
The Plastic Epidemic
These days plastic is everywhere. It’s in our food, in the water we drink and even the air we breathe. And with ongoing research suggesting it could be responsible for a range of health issues including DNA damage and the promotion of cancer, oxidative stress in the airways and lungs and even male infertility, it’s clear we’re ingesting far too much of this material.
Much of the plastic pollution comes from our food packaging and the issue lies in not just the disposal of plastic waste but also its durability. You see, even when plastic is disposed of properly, it can take centuries to decompose and when it starts to deteriorate it breaks down into smaller and smaller particles before some of it gets released into the atmosphere.
Risks To Wildlife
One of the most destructive and tragic aspects of plastic pollution is its impact on wildlife. Animals often mistake plastic waste for food and some of them eventually ingest it. This can eventually disrupt the digestive system and can block their airways, leading to an agonising death.
Other animals may get tangled in plastic which can cause them to get injured or suffocate, so it’s clear that food packaging such as polystyrene trays, plastic cups and single-use straws poses an extreme risk to wildlife.
River And Sea Pollution
You might not realise it, but those plastic smoothie cups or polystyrene food containers being sold at an inner city takeaway can eventually find their way to the sea hundreds of miles away.
Discarded plastic waste can find its way to streams and rivers, and once there it can be carried downstream until it eventually ends up in the sea.
Once there, this plastic poses a massive threat, not just to the marine life that inhabits our seas but potentially jeopardising entire ecosystems. Microplastic also finds its way into the fish we eat, so much of the seafood we consume is loaded with this toxic material which shows just how multilayered this problem actually is.
Many people assume that properly disposing of plastic waste means the negative impact on the environment is eliminated. However this couldn’t be further from the truth. Although it’s obviously better to ensure your waste is disposed of sensibly rather than littering, landfills are another major environmental concern.
Plastics can take hundreds of years to break down, which takes up precious land and leeches harmful chemicals into the soil. Add to this the fact that plastics release toxins and greenhouse gases as they start to deteriorate which contributes to climate change and soil contamination, and you can see landfills are by no means a solution to the plastic problem.
Reducing Plastic Packaging
As we’ve learned in this blog post, the environmental toll of plastic packaging is undeniable and the more we use the worse the issue becomes. This is why it’s down to you as takeaway owners to help reduce the amount of plastic packaging.
By reducing our reliance on single-use plastics and adopting more sustainable packaging options, we can help create a safer and less polluted world for ourselves and the animals that we share this planet with.
There are many eco-friendly options you can choose instead. From biodegradable kraft bowls and bags to paper cups to recycled wooden forks that are sustainably-sourced, you can eliminate plastic from your service completely.
It’s also worth noting that consumers are becoming increasingly conscious about sustainability and more of them are choosing to shop with companies and brands that take ecology seriously. So by adopting a sustainable approach, this should help you attract additional customers who share your ethos.
Requirement For Businesses
The last point to mention is the recent change in the law that means it’s now illegal to use single-use plastic. The ban means any business serving food to customers must now use sustainable, biodegradable alternatives.
Failure to abide by the new rules can land you in some pretty big trouble with local authorities and Trading Standards, so if you own a food business then you’ll need to make sure you’re using the correct items or you could face a large fine.
So that’s how your food packaging can have a better impact on both our health and the environment. By purchasing the right items, you’ll be contributing to a more sustainable future and you’ll also stay out of trouble with the local authorities which is a nice bonus!
So if you’re looking for wholesale takeaway packaging and you want it to be as kind to the planet as possible, luckily you’re in the right place.
If you would like to find out more about how Elpack Packaging Solutions can assist your business, or discuss your bespoke packaging needs, get in touch with our expert team today! Call us on 01425 524021 or drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org