Dishwashing brush, to-go boxes and straws - everything still made of plastic with you? From now on no more! Okay, very few people will become plastic-free overnight, but it doesn't have to be that way. With the "Less Waste" lifestyle, you can gradually banish plastic from your everyday life without having to go without.
Hard Fact: Germans produce almost 300,000 tons of waste per year in the form of disposable plastic tableware and take-away packaging. Not only does it sound like a lot, but it is! Fortunately, 2021 the ban on the production of single-use plastic in the EU is coming. But until then, there is still some time in which we can already take action ourselves. The path to a sustainable future is not that difficult, sometimes the solution is closer than you think. With our tips, you can easily become a bit more plastic-free, bit by bit, and that will not only please the environment, but also your guests!
1. plastic-free drinks
What works for food also works for drinks, even at the square. Everyone loves drinks, whether in the summer on the terrace or in the cold seasons cozy in the interior of the favorite location. Cocktails in particular, however, are true plastic piles: A skewer here, a straw there - environmentally conscious looks different. But there are also alternatives for alcoholic drinking pleasure. Of course, the guest can still express the wish to enjoy the drink without a drinking tube, but if one is honest, the cult drink unfortunately loses some of its style.
We think: If skewer, then at least made of wood and if straw, then rely on alternatives! There are different models, which can be a suitable solution for the classic plastic straws depending on the occasion and budget. We have taken a closer look at the various alternativeshere for you. Our test winner: The #IAMPLASTICFREE straw made of wood, sugar and glucose. This not only shows your guests that you care about less waste, but also gives them the opportunity to share your thoughts via social media. But no matter which option you choose, simply give up single-use plastic and let your guests enjoy delicious drinks with a clear conscience in the future!
Our tip: Want to take the next step and make your bar even more plastic-free? Then readhere more about our tips for plastic-free cocktails & more sustainability behind the bar.
Our free sample pack of drinking straws is the perfect choice to test our thoughtfully sustainable straws.
2. plastic-free in the kitchen
Probably a stronghold in the plastic paradise is in private households as well as in restaurants especially the kitchen. Here rinsing brushes and cooking spoons cavort at plastic hooks over cutting board and kitchen roll - which comes in a not too scarce plastic packing.
Our tip: Kitchen helpers for soup & Co can be replaced by sustainable alternatives made of stainless steel, wood and bamboo.
Plastic dishwashing brushes in particular are very popular, although the alternatives here even have a lot more going for them: The brush heads of most models can be easily replaced, so that even despite heavy wear and tear, less waste is produced than with a plastic brush. To protect your wooden or bamboo brush, you can simply hang it up or put it down to protect the handles made of the delicate material. Thanks to the wax coating on the wooden brushes, you don't have to worry about quick wear and tear if they dry properly.
There are also two sustainable alternatives for cutting boards: Boards made of wood, unlike the plastic version, have an antibacterial effect, and made of water-repellent cork, they can even be gentle on knives and wrists - a true wonder weapon, completely without plastic.
Hand on heart: How often do you reach for the kitchen roll every day? For small coffee stains or large traces of sauce, these practical all-purpose cloths are a lifesaver in many situations. But anyone who uses them privately knows that one pack often doesn't last long, depending on the size of the household. It's hard to imagine how short the service life might be in the catering industry. The solution here is washable and thus reusable kitchen towels made of microfiber or bamboo paper. When used for the first time, the bamboo towels can be torn off piece by piece, just like a classic kitchen roll, and after washing they can simply be folded and stored in the drawer. So plastic-free kitchen utensils do exist, so it's time to find the right one for you.
If you want to go a bit further in the direction of "plastic-free hospitality," you can also bring more sustainability into your bathroom or shopping. You canread more about how you can drive the green revolution in the catering industry or even in your hotelhere .
3. plastic-free packaging and plastic-free freezing
When food is left over or open food has to be stored, it's easy to reach for cling film or aluminum foil. But there are also some practical alternatives! Probably the best-known of these makes use of the robust properties of beeswax: beeswax cloths have been in vogue for several years, which is probably also due to their incomparable design variety. Wrapped well, bread and cheese stay fresh for several weeks. Bowls and casserole dishes can also be covered with wax cloths. Alternatively, bakery bags can be reused several times for bread and rolls. When doing so, the bread should be taken out of the bag to thaw so that it doesn't get soggy on you. If you want to go one step further, have your baked goods put into a clean cotton bag right away. Even better are special bread bags that can be easily sealed with a ribbon.
An idea for smaller foods such as herbs or even sauces are stainless steel ice molds. In them, the food can be placed in the refrigerator in portions, making them a real insider tip among plastic-free freezing methods. For those who don't want to give up freezing in cans, alternatives made of glass or stainless steel are a good method. These are available in practically all possible sizes and are suitable for pesto leftovers as well as for whole casseroles and cakes.
If you also want to save money, simply use canning jars like those for pickles or jam. For soups and the like, you should only fill the jar two-thirds full at a time, as the liquid expands during freezing and can otherwise cause the jar to burst. It is best to freeze meat already prepared or very airtight. Fruits and vegetables that you have dried well beforehand fit perfectly into jars with a larger rim. So from now on, you can safely do without plastic for your next freezing.
This not only saves you money and plastic, but also reduces food waste. If you do have waste, you can findan overview of proper waste separation here: .
4. plastic-free organic waste
If you want to buy fruits and vegetables in the supermarket, you risk a mountain of plastic, which is felt higher than the entire raw food purchase. Also with supplies apples and CO are gladly times in plastic and plastic bowls packed. While it is easy to use fresh food nets for private purchases today, they are of course impractical for deliveries from wholesalers. Alternatively, you can rely on retailers who deliver in reusable boxes and also use reusable plastic packaging with a deposit system for milk and similar products. This is not plastic-free, but it makes a difference!
Organic waste in plastic bags? That not only contradicts itself, but also simply makes no sense. But here, too, there are alternatives.
A very simple solution: It works without! You can easily collect organic waste in a stainless steel or ceramic bucket. Wash it out once after emptying and you can easily save one bag a day. Those who do not want to do without garbage bags can also use degradable bags made from biogenic waste materials such as cassava starch. For their production, the energy is used from plants that are not suitable for consumption. In this way, the bags come close to the classic plastic bags in their composition and thus prove to be a good alternative for daily use. If you are interested, you can request a sample pack of our #IAMPLASTICFREE bags, which can also be used as garbage bags,here .
If you're looking for plastic-free alternatives to traditional bags in general, we've listed some options for youhere .
5. plastic-free breakfast
A typical German breakfast is simply a veritable bouquet of delicacies. Sausage, cheese, eggs, but also various sweet sins may not be missing on bread and rolls. No wonder that breakfast and brunch offers in cafés and restaurants are also booming. Especially jam, honey and nut-nougat cream are often packed in small packets on the buffet or in the table basket - after all, it's super convenient. Unfortunately, the boxes are true environmental sins, but can fortunately be replaced quite easily.
The keyword here is: Self-service. It's up to you whether you opt for edible bowls with a waffle-like taste or glass bowls. It's also worth thinking about a solution for serving at the table. Because even though there are purchase costs associated with this option, you'll still save: large jars usually cost much less than many small packages, and guests can take as much (or as little) as they want. This way, you not only reduce plastic consumption, but also simply avoid unnecessary food waste.
It's just as easy with spread as it is with the beloved milk for coffee drinkers. When ordering, ask your guests whether they would like milk with their coffee or tea, and if so, approximately how much. In this way, you can swap the plastic coffee cream bomb for a stylish alternative made of stainless steel or porcelain, for example, in no time at all. For the daily to-go business, milk can be available in cooling jugs for self-service, and you can also switch to more sustainable wooden spoons for the stirrers. But it's probably only a matter of time before more ecological alternatives replace them.
6. plastic-free for out-of-home orders
Everything that is consumed out of the house, unfortunately, quickly ends up in plastic packaging, even if without malicious intent. Whether it's a large salad box or a disposable coffee cup with a plastic lid - it has to be quick, cheap and the customer wants to enjoy the meal in the knowledge that it is subject to a certain standard of hygiene. Plastic seems to be the most obvious solution. But here, too, numerous alternatives have been available in the catering industry for some years now. For large packaging, models already exist made from environmentally friendly materials such as biogenic waste materials and recycled cardboard boxes. Such methods are also already being used for disposable cutlery. From 2021, many disposable products are to be banned. Here you can find out which articles will be affected and how you can already do without unnecessary packaging.
However, deposit systems that do completely without disposable packaging are very much in vogue today: Some restaurants offer packaging for a deposit, which the customer returns after a certain period of time. Alternatively, customers can bring their own container into which the prepared meal is then poured. This also applies, of course, to the popular hot drinks to-go, whereby sustainable thermal cups made of various materials can be found on the market today. It is therefore worthwhile for the environment to find out about the hygiene conditions here. Unpackaged thus goes not only in the organic store, but also at the restaurant around the corner.
Avoiding petroleum-based plastic is not that difficult
The plastic-free squirrel feeds hard! And even if you don't ban all plastic from your kitchen and tables right away, each step can bring success. There are so many areas in which you can take these steps. Whether in the kitchen, at the grocery store or in out-of-home sales, now is the right time to pay a visit to the alternatives market and cut down on plastic consumption a bit.
Are the costs and effort still deterring you from taking the first steps? Just start and try it out! There is no right or wrong, what suits one person does not necessarily apply to another. In everyday catering there are a few small plastic construction sites that you can easily tweak, with our tips you can reduce your plastic consumption virtually in passing!