A BRADFORD restaurateur has told how he’s saving tonnes of plastic waste from landfill by making the switch to metal takeaway tiffins.
After seeing the amount of plastic used for takeaways, The Crafty Indian’s Harry Khinda drew inspiration from his father’s metal tiffin box which he brought from India to the UK in 1960s – still usable now.
When asked about the lightbulb moment which sparked the use of takeaway tiffins, he said: “It was probably from doing takeaways, following takeaways and just watching everyday the amount of containers that were going out of the door.
“We’re using them and then they’re gone and I’m thinking, where are these going? They’re going in the bin.”
The owner estimated that the move is saving more than 20,000 plastic containers from going to landfill each year.
And not only do they help save the planet, the eco-friendly containers have proved very useful during the pandemic.
Mr Khinda told the Telegraph & Argus: “In the Summer the tiffins came in handy for people who were isolating. We were able to get food out.
“Since November we’ve sold 200. We’ve had the lockdown too. During the lockdown and even now people bring them back and just get them filled up.
“Every single time we’re helping to do our little bit.
“It pays itself immediately. The customer buys into it because they’re helping.
“Our restaurant is called the Crafty Indian, so we like to do things slightly differently. It takes effort on everyone’s part. It’s a small price to pay.
“It’s difficult for everybody but everyone I’ve spoken to said it’s no problem at all, you pop along, have a beer and get these filled up. Job done.
“Everyone’s got to play their part and if they do we’ll get the desired effect (of lowering plastic usage and waste).”
The restaurant owner has urged other takeaways and restaurants to get creative and recognise their responsibilities as a business.
The tiffins have proved popular with younger children and their parents, who want to educate their children more about being eco-friendly and small changes we could make.
A study by YouGov in 2019 found that 46 per cent of people in the UK feel guilty about the amount of plastic they use.
Results in a sperate YouGov survey also showed that many people in the UK are confused about what takeaway packaging can and can’t be recycled.
Mr Khinda continued: “Look at Bradford, how many takeaways there are in Bradford.
“We’re saving millions of plastic containers. These tiffins they are going to last years. It’s going to last you 10 years.
“My dad brought one from India in 1965 and he’s still got it so that shows you how long they’ll last you.
“Every single time you use it you’re helping, not only is it a way to carry your food around, you can take it to work.
“We do little ones for kids to get them into that mindset from a young age, that ‘this is what I use for my takeaways’.
“Even if they not sure about the underlying principal behind it when they’re using it it soon becomes a topic of conversation.
“It’s educating kids too.”