Top pan Asian restaurant chain Wagamama is to replace all its black take-out plastic packaging with easy to recycle grey plastic.
While the chain’s current black plastic is recyclable, it often goes undetected by optical scanners at UK recycling plants.
The new move 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. It is currently looking at alternative materials to improve recyclability and reduce plastic across the business.
Last year it replaced seven million single use plastic straws across its restaurants with biodegradable paper alternatives.
In addition, it has also decided to eliminate annually 2.7m 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.
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.”