By David Saunders, Health Editor | UPDATED: 08:28, 08 July 2020
Whilst wagamama’s current black plastic is recyclable, it often goes undetected by optical scanners at UK recycling plants.
The new move by the top pan Asian restaurant brand will mean 15.4 million pieces of plastic can now be easily recycled every year.
The initiative is part of a bigger strategy by wagamama’s ‘Midori’ (meaning green in Japanese) team which is dedicated to sustainability across its business. They’re currently looking at alternative materials to improve recyclability and reduce plastic across their business.
Last year market leader wagamama replaced seven million single use plastic straws across its restaurants with biodegradable paper alternatives.
The new initiative, part of wagamama’s environmental commitment, will see an end to all current black plastic take-out packaging by this year’s Earth Day (April 22).
In addition, wagamama has also decided to eliminate annually 2.7million cardboard sleeves, used to indicate the contents of each bowl. To be replaced with small cardboard inserts which slot perfectly into the centre of each lid. This change will also be effective by Earth Day.
Their take-out packaging is deliberately made with reuse in mind, and wagamama always encourages guests to reuse their leftover take-out bowls through their ‘rinse reuse recycle’ slogan.
Chief Growth Officer, Caroline Cromar, said: “We have a responsibility as a modern business and employer to tread as lightly on the earth as possible. Initiatives such as this one are helping us move towards our sustainability targets. We have a dedicated team working on these efforts, who look at our business and tackle key sustainability challenges.”
“One of our priorities this year is to address all unnecessary single use plastic in our business. Our take-out packaging is just one prong of our plastic reduction efforts. This change is simple yet effective. It means 100% of all take-out packaging, if disposed correctly, will be recycled. In addition, we’ll be significantly reducing the amount of cardboard being used to indicate to guests the contents of our take-out bowls.
“This is a great step for us but only the beginning. In the spirit of kaizen, the Japanese philosophy meaning good change, we’re restless to make more improvements. Watch this space.”