x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Reduce takeaway food packaging

The UAE's reliance on takeout, and the waste generated from it, are clearly out of control. If I could invent one environmentally friendly campaign in the UAE, it would replicate the TakeOutWithOut effort in the US.

The To-Go Ware Classic two-tier food carrier from www.thegreenecostore.com.
The To-Go Ware Classic two-tier food carrier from www.thegreenecostore.com.

The UAE's reliance on takeout, and the waste generated from it, are clearly out of control. If I could invent one environmentally friendly campaign in the UAE, it would replicate the TakeOutWithOut effort in the US.

Launched with the catchphrases "Fill Your Stomach, Not the Landfill" and "Change Comes from Without", it is a new take on the environmental mantra of reduce, reuse and recycle. Instead the organisers ask that consumers "ReFuse, ReTake and ReConsider".

Tell the restaurant you are ordering from that you don't need disposable plates, or cutlery or 20 napkins. Or six straws or ketchup packets or sauces you won't even open, or for everything to be sealed in plastic wrap.

ReTake implies eating off your own reusable items. Last week I wrote about replacing plastic cutlery, but it's also not difficult to keep a plate, bowl, mug and cup nearby at work.

The campaign also suggests reconsidering your habits, such as ordering from more environmentally considerate outlets, or cutting down on takeout altogether. Could you stock up on some healthy foods at the beginning of the week, perhaps? Carry a sandwich? Bring leftovers?

In addition to offering a variety of portable food options such as reusable snack and sandwich bags, Ekotribe has a really cool two-tier food carrying system based on the traditional Indian tiffin boxes. The To-Go Ware Classic is made of light stainless steel. It comes with a removable plate, a little sidekick for sauces and salad dressings, and works for hot or cold foods - even two-course meals. The store also sells the set with a recycled cotton sling carrier bag. Dh200 for the set, Dh140 just for the tiffin.