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Bring your own container nets customers a discount 

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Fish and chips container

A coastal fish and chip shop in Portobello, Edinburgh, is offering customers a 5% discount on menu items if customers bring their own reusable containers.

St Andrews Restaurant and Takeaway has signed up to Ditching Disposables, a pilot scheme funded by Zero Waste Scotland to support food and drink businesses in reducing their use of disposable single-use items.

It hopes the initiative will reduce littering in the local area and cut down on the 20,000 cardboard containers the takeaway uses each month. 

The 5% discount saves customers 40p on a haddock supper, 15p on large chips and 25p on a pie supper. 

Chris MacRae, marketing manager at St Andrews Restaurant and Takeaway, comments: “We’re encouraging customers to bring either a Tupperware container or a cup from home. Although we don’t have them yet, we’re looking to bring in our own reusable containers that customers buy from us for a nominal fee just so it’s something that is a little more suitable. We want to make sure that we are not compromising the quality of our food so the ideal situation is we provide our own reusable containers.

“It’s quite a new thing and we are learning as much as our customers are. People shop in takeaways out of convenience so we don’t expect everyone to have a Tupperware container on them when they are out and about, but it’s a start. 

“We know it will take a culture change before people start bringing in items from home but, even if 5% of our customers make a change, that’s doing something good for the environment.”

The eco-conscious business removed all single-use plastics last year, switching from plastic forks to wooden alternatives, and from sauce sachets to plant-based and paper pots. It has also funded extra bins outside as well as litter pickers and pays for two members of staff to regularly sweep the promenade and beach of rubbish. 

Chris added: “We jumped at the opportunity to get involved with Ditching Disposables as it ties in exactly with how we want to portray ourselves as a a sustainable business.”

The move has had positive feedback from customers with many keen to suggest possible containers. 

“We’ve had a lot of customers say they would love us to take it back to old newspapers,” adds Chris.

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