Is the restaurant the birthplace of plastics? In fact, reducing the use of plastic is not as difficult as we imagined.

Plastic goods tend to be an integral part of human life in modern society. Regardless of the daily needs, a certain amount of plastic materials are used in furniture or supplies. In the catering industry, packaging boxes, disposable tableware, straws, packaging bags, etc. are mainly made of plastic.

Plastic Recycling Still Has A Long Way To Go.
Source: https://www.statista.com/chart/18064/plastic-waste-in-the-us-municipal-solid-waste-disposal/

However, in recent years, some catering giants have begun to realize the environmental pollution problems caused by plastics and began to use paper or other plastic-free products. Among these companies, McDonald’s and Starbucks changed the takeaway packaging to a more environmentally friendly material using paper packaging and greatly reduced the use of plastic straws. These catering sectors will also become the benchmark of the industry for the use of plastic-free goods.

It is undeniable that plastic products bring a lot of convenience to our lives. The durability and consistency of the plastic goods and finished products are better and the price is less costly than with paper products of the same effect. For instance, McDonald’s has a low load capacity compared to plastic sacks with paper goods. When using paper packaging, consumers are uncomfortable and the longevity of paper straws is even lower than that of plastic straws. But the major catering giants still work hard to achieve the goal of protecting the environment.

Platic free tableware. Credit: LuoHe

From another perspective, since the packaging cost of using plastic-free products is relatively low, it will not have an excessive impact on their turnover, and it will be more convenient for the catering industry giants. But the use of paper products will have a far-reaching impact on many small restaurants. In this interview, Boyu Yang came to a snack bar in Shenzhen to visit and understand the current status of Chinese restaurants using plastic-free producplatts.

Lunch box. Credit: LuoHe
Interveiw with Huihaoyuan’s staff, Shenzhen, China

This interview reveals that several companies are able to pay for more finished goods to guarantee consumer protection, food safety, and environmental objectives. In addition, in order to understand how to use environmentally friendly products, Boyu Yang used an interview with a vegetarian restaurant which named Zhenweilianxin in Kunming, Yunnan.

Zhi Xiao, the restaurant operators, said: “We have to prioritize whether the restaurant can be beneficial when using environmentally friendly products. The difference is that profitability for the operation of all small restaurants is important.”

What makes it special. The manager said that because of their low price of dishes if they use high-end environmentally friendly goods, there is practically no benefit in the account. However, if the government later introduces subsidy policies, they are also very disposed to use products that are environmentally friendly.

Zhenweilianxin restaurant , Kunming, China

Through interviews, we can assess that many businesses are prepared to use goods that value the environment, but high packaging cost is also a concern for them at the same time. Or to make a difference to the restaurant appeal to consumers if you choose to use a tool to raise food prices to ensure profitability. However, it is worth noting that several businesses remain prepared to manufacture useful finished goods for environmental protection.

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