Take-out packaging and how to avoid it

If you are reading this you already know that our throw away lifestyle isn't sustainable. I shan't blind you with statistics or stun you with horror images. Instead I will assume your knowledge, your buy-in, and will just let you know how we are tackling the challenge.

This week - take-out packaging and how to avoid it. The simple response is to not buy any take-out. But let's be honest - we want drinks, snacks, meals etc on the go. At least I do! I don't always have the time (or the inclination) to make my own. As for inspiration or prior knowledge about how hungry I'll be or what I'll fancy to eat - I've already lost that game!

To try to reduce single use cutlery and napkins, I now have a little pack in a pencil case. My pack includes an aluminium spork, cloth napkin and a range of plastic cutlery collected from my travels. All of which I wash and reuse repeatedly of course. A problem comes when I have a dirty spoon and nowhere to wash it - I tend to lick it clean (urgh) and bung it in my bag to be washed later.

Bamboo cutlery - I don't like it. Makes my teeth feel funny. I'm not a convert.

Reusable cups are a little harder for me. I have 3. Simply because I forget to take them and then have to buy another one. I now keep one at work, one in the car and the other is in my handbag (I only use one handbag otherwise I'd need many more!). I tend to prefer to sit in a cafe, even for a short time, to drink from a proper cup or mug/use a proper plate. It doesn't take long in the grand scheme of things.

My workplace canteen offers soup for lunch - and a reusable soup container if you want to eat it back at your desk. Again, with work laptops why not just work in the cafe and eat the soup from a china bowl? Note to self: do not spill soup on laptop. To be honest, I'm as likely to do that using my reusable soup container at my desk as in the cafe.

Toast - ah toast - another great offering from my works cafe. And too addictive. They at least wrap it in a paper bag which is recyclable.

Much of my reusable cutlery and containers is made from plastic. This isn't ideal. Becoming sustainable takes time, effort and there is lots of trial and error along the way. I reuse the plastic items to destruction. And will replace them with sustainable options.

Contact me with your ideas for sustainable take-out options. What have you tried? Was it any good?

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