Let's talk about single use plastic
Plastics at Curry Leaf Cafe
The move towards less environmentally damaging practices is a slow but continual one for a business like ours. Some of the steps we've taken so far include:
- Replacing our plastic straws with cardboard ones
- Switching to meat, fish, vegetable and rapeseed oil suppliers who deliver in reusable crates, metal cans or thermally insulating containers
- Moving almost all our takeaway packaging over to biodegradable products. There’s a question mark over how well they break down in landfill, but for now they remain the best option available.
We also started working with fellow Brighton brand, Life Water, at all three of our sites. They’re doing great work to reduce the amount of single-use PET plastic being used in the grab-and-go water bottles that clog up landfill (of which we sold so many from our Brighton Station kiosk); you may have seen their logo on Brighton’s answer to the Boris Bike.
There’s still a lot more we could and should be doing as a company. But the good news is that it’s a lot more commercially viable to adopt environmentally friendly practices than it was when we launched Curry Leaf Cafe in 2014. Back then, compostable takeaway packaging cost nearly three times that of the standard stuff, for example. Now the premium is more like 25-50%.
Fellow business owners: if your conscience doesn’t tell you that’s a price worth paying, it probably won’t be long before pressure from consumers will – especially here in Brighton. To everyone else I say: keep asking questions, either in person or on social media. Sometimes that’s all it takes to nudge people in the right direction.