How to Reduce Your Restaurant’s Packaging Waste for Takeout

bento box

Takeout orders can easily be the most wasteful part of your operations. That’s because the containers that you use are not reusable, so they are prone to waste. You can reduce the amount of waste you create from takeout orders by taking a few simple steps. Here is how to reduce your restaurant’s packaging waste for takeout. 

Choose the Correct Container

Serving Tray

One of the best ways to reduce packaging waste is to choose the correct container. Containers that do not fit the dimensions and portion sizes for your takeout orders run the risk of creating unused space. In many cases, you’re likely using a container that is too big for what you are selling. 

You can reduce the amount of waste in your packaging by choosing multi-compartment containers. For example, a container that has a compartment for each part of the meal combines the meal into one container, eliminating the need for multiple containers per order. Bento boxes are a good way to do this since they are both practical and stylish. 

Compostable Products

Drink Cups

Takeout containers are thrown away when they are done being used. Plastic containers can sit in a landfill for decades waiting to decompose. If you want to reduce your packaging waste, then choose compostable products. Products made out of natural materials are good options for this. Bamboo is a durable option that makes rigid and reliable serving containers. Sugarcane is also a favorite choice since it has a smooth finish and a unique look to it. Both materials are compostable and breakdown quickly in landfills. 

Recyclable Products

Wood Serving Tray

While some products are not compostable, they can be recyclable. Recycling can help reduce waste that goes to a landfill significantly. If you combine recyclable materials with compostable materials, you can reduce most of your restaurant’s waste. 

Allow Customers to Bring in Own Containers

Covered Serving Trey

While this may not always be possible, you could try to allow customers to bring in their own containers. Many customers who are concerned about reducing waste and helping the environment buy reusable containers to use at home. If you let them bring in those containers, then you can avoid using your containers entirely. Health codes come into question when determining if you can do this in your restaurant. However, if you can keep personal containers away from your kitchen or cooking area, then you should not have a problem using customers’ containers. 

Reusable Cutlery

Wood Utensils

Another way of reducing waste is to offer reusable cutlery kits. Many restaurants offer disposable cutlery options that customers can take with their food. This leads to a lot of waste since they are single-use items. Instead, offer reusable cutlery kits that customers can buy and keep at home. That way, there is no need for disposable cutlery anymore. 

PacknWood has a selection of food containers that are eco-friendly and help you organize takeout dishes effectively. To learn more about our line of green food packaging, email us at to request a catalog.


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