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3 Ways to Do Eco-friendly Takeaways

Do the planet a favour and reduce single-use plastics when you takeaway your next meal.

With the temporary closure of restaurants across the country, the only thing just as worrying as rising COVID-19 cases are the amount of plastic waste generated for food deliveries. You can do your part for climate change by making personal choices to reduce plastic packaging. It really is as simple as ABC; here are three ways to do better for the planet.

1. Bring Your Own (BYO) containers

Lejos Silicone Collapsible Lunch Boxes (Image courtesy of Bykurahome)

It has been three years since Zero Waste SG’s Bring Your Own (BYO) movement began working with retail outlets to incentivise customers to bring their own reusables. These include discounts off the total bill at select stores, and occasional draws to win items like vouchers and insulated lunch bags. With hydro flasks and metal straws already in trend, it is only a matter of time until reusable containers take the stage.

For containers in pretty pastel, head to The Paper Bunny where you’ll find bowls, lunch boxes, sandwich bags – you name it, they have it. Taking up less space when not in use, the Lejos Silicone Collapsible Lunch Box by Bykurahome is leak-proof yet collapsible to a height of 3cm when kept. And Bamboo Straw Girl provides a lighter alternative to metal straws and utensils that come with intricate batik casings.

2. Use container sharing services

Muuse’s eco-stylish reusable cup and container (Image courtesy of Muuse)

Depending on a business model based on users ‘renting’ reusable containers, companies such as Muuse and barePack have launched in cities such as Hong Kong, Jakarta, San Francisco and Paris. Now in the Singapore market, the two companies have teamed up with food delivery apps and multiple F&B businesses to bring their goal of zero-waste takeaway here.

Users of GrabFood, Deliveroo and Foodpanda can choose barePack that works with more than 150 outlets island wide. For a monthly fee, barePack allows its members to use up to five containers at a time or non-members can pay a deposit that will be refunded once the items are dropped off at any of their partnering restaurants located in the barePack app.

3. Support businesses that encourage sustainability

Traditional tingkats (image courtesy of iStock)

Some businesses have taken it upon themselves to reduce plastic waste on their own. Tiffin Bicycle Club, a takeaway initiative by Magic Square’s Desmond Shen (who also helmed Odette At Home for the Michelin-starred restaurant last circuit breaker), opts for a rather creative way; they supply piping hot homemade meals in stackable tin boxes or tingkats that are collected by a driver the following day. Initially a private dining venture on McNair Road, Shen decided to use tiffin boxes now that dining-in has been put on hold. Their Guest Chef collaboration series invites chef Marcus Tan from now-defunct pop-up Firebrand for a menu centred around pig offcuts, earning the business even more sustainability plus points.

Restaurants in partnership with Zero Waste SG are also doing their part to stave off single-use plastics. 25 Degrees Burger, Wine & Liquor Bar offers a 20 per cent discount on takeaway orders when guests bring their own containers. With more players in the food and beverage industry gearing towards sustainability, there couldn’t be a better time for us to do our part for the environment while supporting local businesses!

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An Lyn Chee

Editorial Intern

An Lyn enjoys cafe hopping, thrift shopping, and watching The Devil Wears Prada as many times as humanly possible. On her days off, you’ll likely find her in Insta-worthy eateries; overdressed and ordering food and drink that she can barely afford.

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