Global Action Plan’s Youth Panel wage war on single use plastic

Author: Annie Osborne, Global Action Plan Youth Panellist.

Over 120 restaurants, cafes and food outlets across the UK have joined the #LongLiveTheLunchbox revolution. The campaign, led-by the Global Action Plan Youth Panel, is tackling single-use packaging waste by encouraging customers to bring their own lunchbox containers when grabbing food on the go. With packaging waste accounting for almost 50% of plastic waste worldwide, restaurants and caterers have a vital role to play in reducing needless waste and protecting the environment.

Global Action Plan are a charity who make the connections between what is good for us and good for the planet. Their Youth Panel run environmental campaigns on behalf of the charity around issues where youth action can make a real difference.

The #LongLiveTheLunchbox campaign is shining a light on the issue of single-use waste at lunch and promoting restaurants that encourage their patrons to bring lunchbox containers to fill with food. A new interactive map has been launched so eco-conscious consumers can easily locate their local ‘Lunchbox Hero’ food outlets. More restaurants are featured every day so look out for the pink “We Accept Your Containers Here” stickers in their windows. Some cafes are even offering 10% discounts as an added incentive.

The Youth Panel are hoping that the campaign will inspire people to start saying no to single use plastic, and to bring their own lunchboxes when grabbing lunch on the go. It’s exciting to see the enthusiasm from restaurants and customers already! One London cafe, High Mood Food in Marylebone and Spitalfields market said, “We are so thrilled to be part of the #LongLiveTheLunchbox campaign … to encourage people to be part of the revolution, we are offering a 10% discount to anyone who brings their own lunchbox into our Duke Street cafe.”

The fight against plastic waste starts with a change in perception, and a shift in what is normal practice. For example, now it’s the norm for people to use their own coffee cup and get a discount at Starbucks, Pret, Costa, Caffe Nero and others, but this wasn’t always the case! Bringing your own lunchbox when taking away food could be the new norm, but the Youth Panel need your help to make it happen.

Joining the campaign is an excellent way to show your leadership in the battle against single-use packaging waste at lunch. Does your restaurant let people fill up their own lunchbox containers? Or perhaps you yourself bring your own lunchbox when getting food on the go? Join the plastic free revolution and follow the campaign on Instagram @globalactionplan.

For further information see https://globalactionplan.org.uk/long-live-the-lunchbox and contact youthpanel@globalactionplan.org.uk to get your restaurant featured on the map, and receive your very own pink sticker to display.