Sustainable consumption in Saint Lucia’s foodservice industry takes stride as restaurant Spice of India partners with the Plastic Waste Free Islands (PWFI) Project in a pilot to reduce the use of single-use plastics for its takeaway services. The PWFI Project through the Department of Sustainable Development handed over forty-nine re-useable foodservice containers to the establishment to commence the initiative this November. Spice of India will include the reusable food containers in an ongoing offer where patrons who opt for takeaway in reusable food packaging will pay a small deposit when they order. The deposit is paid back to the patron when they return the container(s). The PWFI Project foodservice containers have a sturdy, leakproof design and are microwavable! They can be used up to two hundred and fifty times, cleaned after every return under the strictest hygiene standards. 

The PWFI Project is part of the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s global Close the Plastic Tap Programme. With support from the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad) and Searious Business, the three-year project works in Saint Lucia and five other islands of the Caribbean and Pacific. The project seeks to promote island circular economy and to demonstrate effective, quantifiable solutions to addressing plastic leakage from Small Island Developing States. “Many of us are oblivious to the environmental damages that are caused due to the poor disposal of plastic waste in and around our beautiful island,” says Michelle Headley, National Project Assistant with the Plastic Waste Free Islands (PWFI) project. “This initiative has proven to be one that can greatly reduce the negative impacts of single-use plastic on our environment and marine life. As such I applaud Spice of India in taking this bold step to implement yet another sustainable alternative for packaging their takeaway meals. I also look forward to the near future when more restaurants and foodservice providers can follow suit.” 

Spice of India owner, Chef Adil is pleased to align his enterprise with this cause, “We’re really happy to be able to of er our customers a sustainable alternative. We all have to play our part to save our ocean from plastic waste”. 

This initiative is in support of Saint Lucia’s journey to reducing the dependence on single-use plastic food service containers. Sustainable Development and Environment Officer attached to the Department of Sustainable Development, Lavina Alexander says, “Putting plastics into landfills is not a long-term solution, as it simply takes too long to degrade, and the risks for leakage into the ocean is high. This initiative is in support of Saint Lucia’s journey to reducing the dependence on single-use plastic foodservice containers. We hope that Saint Lucians will be encouraged to increase their reuse of strictly cleaned plastic food containers and that many more restaurant owners will join this movement! ” 

The handover of the reusable foodservice containers was held on November 3rd, 2021. More restaurants and foodservice providers are encouraged to introduce similar initiatives to reduce single-use food packaging in the industry. 

If you’d like to learn more about the Plastic Waste Free Islands project, visit: https://www.iucn.org/theme/marine-and-polar/our-work/close-plastic-tap-programme or https://www.seariousbusiness.com/islands and see how you can get involved. Also if you would like to participate, visit http://www.spiceofindiastlucia.com