Cafe and Take Away Resources
The Problem with single use plastic
Over 8 Million tonnes of plastic waste enters the ocean every year, which is equivalent to a full garbage truck every second. Most of that plastic waste is single use plastic items like bags, bottles, straws, cutlery, food packaging.
Single use plastic items are used on average for less than 10 minutes but never fully break down only becoming micro pieces, which never really disappear but end up in the environment or being ingested by marine wildlife and thereby into our own food chain!
People are generally more aware today of how bad single use plastic and its devastating and lasting impacts on the environment and therefore it is increasingly bad for business as more customers want to see less of it.
Breaking Up is Hard to Do!
Let’s face it! It is so difficult for café owners to break up with single use plastic in the business. It is cheap and convenient. The fact is that it is usually more cost effective to use disposable plastic items than it is to pay employees for the labour and time to wash up individual items. Added to that, customers are so accustomed to being able to grab whatever they are purchasing whether it be food and beverages, to groceries and other shopping and run out the shop door without having to plan for anything, as the shop will provide vessels in which to carry these away. Single use disposable items like bags, cups and anything else to make the shopping experience as easy and convenient as possible have become necessities for businesses to keep shoppers happy.
So how does a café which has single use plastic items that are embedded into its every day operations start the break up? Every business will start from a different position. Perhaps you as the owner or manager feel very strongly about single use plastic pollution and would like to do more but it seems too daunting and hard to change suppliers, processes and staff behaviour. What if your customers do not want to change and you definitely do not want to drive them elsewhere? Maybe you are concerned about changing customer sentiment and want to keep up with the move away from plastic, but are concerned about the cost impacts to your business in making these changes.
What single use items do you use?
SINGLE USE PLASTIC BAGS
DISPOSABLE COFFEE CUPS
SINGLE USE WATER BOTTLES AND JUICE/SMOOTHIE CUPS WITH PLASTIC LIDS
PLASTIC FOOD CONTAINERS AND CONDIMENTS
SINGLE USE PACKAGING
Getting everyone on board
Make sure your team and staff are aware of and understand any changes that you decide to make in relation to single use plastic and how to reduce it in your business.
Its really important to bring people along on the journey when you are making changes. Change is a journey. If you leave people out they will either get angry and ignore what you are trying to do or just pretend that nothing has changed as you haven’t bothered to get them involved. Even if they do not agree with the changes, if you have not engaged them, they will probably try to derail your efforts to make the changes.
Everyone in a business means
- Owner and managers
- Staff – full time and casual
The Change Journey we all go on – from ignorance to questioning why to despair to acceptance, and hopefully championing the change. Some are able to accept and embrace change more easily so we need to help those who find it harder
- First discuss with your staff either individually or in a group about the broader issues with single use plastic pollution and bring it down to specifically what it means in your business. Have staff meetings and regular huddles to talk about the plastic pollution issue and what impact making these changes to your business will have on the environment.
- Ask your staff for their opinions about single use plastic, so that all staff members’ views are heard. As the owner or manager then you must explain the changes that you want to make to the business operations and the specific ways in which single use plastic will be reduced and why you are doing this. The reasons may be multiple – you may be passionate about caring for the environment and concerned about adding further to the problem. It could be about ensuring that you keep and attract the sort of customers that care about plastic pollution.
- Establish and document staff policies and practices – always ask customers “do you have your own cup/container etc”, do you know about our discounts for BYO? Put up signs and posters to remind your staff, especially if you have casuals and non-regulars who come in about the new practices.
- Ask for the staff to bring up challenges that they foresee and get the group to brainstorm ways to get around these difficulties. Getting people to offer suggestions which are heard and may be adopted by the group is really effective to get buy in to the new ways of doing things.
- Print out bye-bye plastic posters that spell out what steps your business is taking to break up with single use plastic and put them up in highly visible places in your shop. This will help staff to remember the new ways of doing things and your customers will also be able to ensure that your staff are doing the right things when it comes to single use plastic.
Tell the story
- Let your customers know about the plastic pollution problem and what you as a business are doing about it
- Encourage your staff to talk to customers about single use plastic and the actions your business is taking to reduce it in a positive and awareness raising way
- Make a Pledge as a business to reduce or say bye-bye to single use plastic at www.byebyeplastic.org.au
- Post on your website and social media information about plastic pollution and your business’ commitment to say bye-bye plastic Hello BYO
- Hash-tag #hellobyo and #byebyeplastic and post photos on your social media to influence and encourage others
- Make a poster or sign from your Bye-Bye Plastic pledge put it in your window, on the wall or on the counter to let your customers and staff know about your commitment
- Clip an information card on your menus explaining that your business is committed to addressing the problem and reducing single use disposable plastic in your establishment
Champion Business Case for Cafes
No Results Found
The page you requested could not be found. Try refining your search, or use the navigation above to locate the post.