Magazine Archive

Another month, another flood of green stories and initiatives. No (climate) change there, you might think – though it has begun to feel like we may be approaching some sort of tipping point following the impact that has been made recently by Greta Thunberg, who has managed to become something of a target for the far right, despite being: a) a 15-year-old schoolgirl; b) impressively eloquent; c) campaigning for something that you would think would benefit us all.

One story that particularly jumped out recently with regard to the out of home sector was a survey of 1,200 workers that found that their (and our) lunch on the go habit is apparently generating some 10.7bn items of packaging waste annually, which equates to 276 items per person. It also found that we use, on average, four items of packaging for every lunch purchase.

Though this is obviously worrying news, it has arisen from the fact that 64% said that they buy lunch on the go more now than they did five years ago, meaning they spend an extra £13.6bn annually. The flipside of this is that the research has prompted calls from some for workers to cut out the cafés and prepare their own packed lunches instead.

One potential solution was found for the out of home industry, though, as it was found that offering a 10% saving did encourage some customers to come prepared with their own lunchbox to transport takeaway purchases, according Café 7 in Norwich who took part in a trial. The café was encouraged enough to continue with the scheme even though the experiment is over, with manager Lyn McAlister saying: “I think we need to keep spreading the word and hopefully other companies will come aboard too.”

A solution that is both ethical and profitable? It certainly seems worth at least considering.