By Hannah Phillips
A takeaway has become the UK’s FIRST to go completely plastic free – serving up carryout curries in refillable metal containers instead.
The Crafty Indian in Shipley, Bradford, has ditched plastic tupperwares in favour of stainless steel tiffins which can be recycled over and over again.
Restaurant owner Harry Khinda said the idea came from a desire to save the planet for the next generation – and is now urging other businesses to do the same.
Harry has spent £2,000 on the steel tiffins, which regulars buy and bring back to refill the next time they want a takeaway receiving a 10 per cent discount.
Harry, 48, said: “When you’re running a business, you’ve got to have a balance.
“You have to balance the needs of your business with the needs of the environment.
“I’ve always been ethically concerned, I get it from my parents. They’re from a farming background in India where you reuse as much as possible from trees to branches.
“The tiffins are more expensive for us as a business but they’re worth it because you aren’t using plastic and once you’ve used it a few times, you’ve got your money back.
“My dad has had the same one since 1965 so I know they can be used forever.”
Harry has invested in thousands of the £17.99 boxes, which his customers can then reuse however they want, bringing them back at least once a week to be refilled.
He said the initial cost has been worth it to be able to stop using single use plastic containers to deliver his restaurant’s takeaway curries.
Harry is now urging other business owners to follow suit by ditching plastics in favour of other more environmentally-friendly options.
He said: “Every restaurant should be doing it, we should all be doing out little bit.
“Once one starts something, they all follow so I hope other restaurants follow our lead.
“A lot of businesses refuse because it’s a lot of work but we need to combat a growing problem.
“I have never enjoyed using single plastic. If everyone does their little bit then the environment benefits.”
Harry, who has managed the business for 12 years after setting it up in 2008, said customers are raving about his decision to get rid of plastic.
He’s even received support from all over the country and other restaurants have been asking him if they can buy his tiffin boxes too.
The restaurant have also put a ban on using cling film in the kitchen and makes sure the meat they serve is local rather than shipped from thousands of miles away to reduce air miles.
Harry said: “The customers love it. Everyone is worried about plastic waste, so it’s such a good idea.
“We have always been ethically concerned about the environment and waste and looking after the planet for the next generation.
“I knew the decision would be a big deal because it’s such an important topic at the minute and a lot of people are ethically concerned.”