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retailers & cafes

Café and restaurant owners, you have a great opportunity to make a really significant contribution to a

Plastic Free Sutherland Shire.

Did you know there are alternatives to the plastic packaging you provide for your customers and by choosing to use them you’ll not just be contributing to a cleaner, healthier environment, but you’ll be raising the bar in sustainable business practices and showing your customers that you care.


To join Plastic Free Sutherland Shire, cafes and restaurants just need to implement five simple practices.


Remove plastic straws

Most plastic straws are used once - for only a few minutes before the are discarded.

Australians use approximately ten million plastic straws each day - that's 3.5 billion straws a year.

Believe it or not, plastic straws contribute to a great deal of the plastic pollution on our beaches and in our waterways and harm birds and marine life.

Eliminating plastic straws from your business is as easy as removing them from the counter.

Most customers don’t really need straws for their drinks and, if they do, you can give them a paper or reusable straw.


Remove plastic cutlery

It’s easy to eliminate plastic cutlery from your café or your restaurant.

For dine-in customers, it’s a simple matter of providing them with metal cutlery.

For take-away customers, there are several options.

Not every take-away customer will need cutlery. Some will have their own at home or in the office. So, ask customers whether they need cutlery with their order.

For those who do, you can provide sustainable, cutlery made of vegetable fibre or bamboo.


No single-use plastic bags

Australians use a staggering ten million single-use plastic bags each day and they all end up in landfill and our environment, many of them as litter.

Plastic bags break down into microplastics, which are mistaken for food and are eaten by birds and sea creatures.

The plastic lodges in their stomachs and limits the amount of food they can eat, often causing starvation.

With just a little imagination, you can remove single-use plastic bags from your café or restaurant.

Not every take-away customer needs a plastic bag, so don’t hand them out willy-nilly.

You can encourage your customers to use non-plastic, reusable bags and, if they don’t have their own, you can sell them one of yours!


No plastic takeaway containers

That plastic takeaway container you use today will still exist in our environment in 450 years as majority of them will not be recycled, rather thrown into landfill.

There are alternatives to plastic take-away containers that you can use in your business.

Some fish and burger businesses package take-away meals in cardboard boxes.

You can also use takeaway containers made of sustainable, degradable fibres such as sugar cane.


No single-use plastic cups and mugs

In 2018, Australians used and discarded approximately 2.6 billion takeaway coffee cups.

You don’t have to look far to see why single-use plastic cups are such a problem for our beaches and waterways. You can help address this by removing them from your business and replacing them with more sustainable alternatives.

Don’t give dine-in customers drinks in single-use containers. Give them a glass or a mug instead. The drinks taste better that way as well!

For take-away beverages, you have several options.

Firstly, encourage your customers to bring their own mug or keep-cup and provide keep-cups they can purchase.

You can also provide drinks in the most sustainable materials you can.

Join Responsible Cafes website so consumers know where to find you, or join Green Caffeen for a swap and go coffee cup system.

A few extra things you can implement to take your business to the next level:

  • Only selling drinks in glass or aluminium instead of plastic

  • Removing plastic decorations from your business and replacing them with ones from natural materials and replacing plastic plants with the genuine article.

  • Using tablecloths made of natural materials such as cotton, linen or hemp, instead of plastic and synthetic materials.

  • Composting food scraps and coffee grounds

Why don’t you share your story about how your business became plastic-free?

We’d love to hear from you.

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