Every day dozens of takeaway meals are produced locally by cafes, restaurants and takeaways and packed in plastic or cardboard containers – which are used once to carry the food home and then either thrown away or put into household recycling.
With many people wanting a reusable alternative, a new initiative is set to offer either stainless steel tiffin tins or aluminium pizza box takeaway food containers.
Known as the Naked Takeaway, the pilot scheme is the brainchild of Mold, Caerwys and Llangollen Town Councils which, with support from community groups and interested businesses in the area, have been awarded a grant from the Welsh Government Circular Economy Fund.
The councils are working together to reduce their environmental impact and support a more circular economy – one in which items are reused, repaired, swapped and borrowed rather than thrown away and replaced with new products.
Outlining the year-long pilot project, Andrea Mearns, Mold Town Councillor and member of Mold Plastic Reduction steering group said: “The Naked Takeaway will involve six businesses across the three towns introducing a deposit return scheme for either reusable tiffin tins or pizza boxes.
“As the Circular Economy grant is funding the initiative, the financial risk for the businesses involved is reduced, giving them and their customers the opportunity to try sustainable alternatives to single use packaging.
The scheme will potentially save 26,000 single use plastic takeaway food containers and 5,200 single use cardboard pizza boxes being used over 12 months.
Heather Smith and Tracy Jones of On the Corner Cafe in Caerwys are keen to be involved in the Naked Takeaway trial.
“Due to Covid-19, takeaway has been the only offer for weeks at a time this year at our café”, they explained, “and it’s more important than ever to offer our customers the choice of taking their food home in a sustainable reusable food container.”
Another of the early adopters is Mold-based Spoons and Forks. Chris Ansloos and Ste Spooner are pictured showing off some of their bright and shiny tiffin tins.
Information about the scheme is available from Joanna Douglass, Mold Town Council Business and Development Officer (either via firstname.lastname@example.org or on 01352 758532).
The header image shows, L-R, Stephen Maund, Mold Plastic Reduction steering group; Cllr Susan Broadaway, Caerwys Town Council; Heather Smith and Tracy Jones of On the Corner Café, Caerwys; and Steve Copple, Mayor of Caerwys.