Plastic Free July – show us your lunchbox!

By Natasha Fromont

Throughout July SBN is campaigning to get people to bring their own containers for take-away lunch. So don’t be shy, show us your lunchbox! You could be in to win a host of prizes (and a better world).

We all know the damage unrestrained plastics use has done and continues to do to our planet. We can all do our bit to help turn the tide. For Plastic Free July the Sustainable Business Network (SBN) will be campaigning to get people taking their own containers for take-away lunch.

Most cafes and restaurants are happy for you to use your own container. In addition, we have signed up lots of businesses from the SBN network to the cause. They will even give you a discount on your food! They include Commonsense Organics, Altezano brothers, Crave, Scarecrow, Excelso Coffee and Greentime.

Get a photo of yourself in the act, post it to any of our social media channels with the hashtag #showusyourlunchbox, and get in on our prize draw.

You don’t need a fab new container to get started. A spare kids’ lunchbox or even an old ice cream container will do the job. Most takeaways and restaurants are happy to oblige. You can also look out for the SBN posters in member food stores declaring their commitment to the cause.

James Griffin leads SBN’s circular economy work. He says: “It’s crucial that we make the shift to new ways of using plastics that don’t cause pollution and waste. This will require a lot of systems to change and significant innovation. But it will also need changes in human behaviour. When we do the right thing we send signals to businesses to cater for it, in this case literally.”

SBN is working through its Circular Economy Accelerator to help hasten the shift to a New Plastics Economy that works in NZ. This will comprehensively tackle the root problems in plastics. Solutions include design, manufacture, distribution, use and end of life solutions.

James says: “We are already seeing many companies round the world and here in New Zealand committing to using 100% reusable, recyclable or compostable packaging in their operations by 2025 or earlier. The challenge now will be to make that a meaningful reality. It’s just the start of the shift we need to make in how we use plastics. And that is only one part of the shift to a circular economy.

“Each step we take builds momentum, so we don’t want to wait to begin making changes. Increasingly bags from home are being used for supermarket shopping. Taking our own containers to food stores is a logical next step, and it’s something everyone can do.”

So join us in July, and show us your lunchbox.

Get a photo of yourself using your container at a local eatery and connect it to SBN on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter to be in to win prizes throughout July. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #showusyourlunchbox

Food stores, cafes and restaurants can download our cheeky campaign poster here