Sustainable Fast Food Packaging: A Guide for Takeaway Food Businesses

Fast food packaging comes in all shapes and sizes. It’s made from various materials and can have some cool features, but it isn’t easy to impress your customers with fun and functional packaging.

As the UK’s takeaway packaging experts, we’ve helped countless businesses create fantastic fast food packaging, from internationally renowned fast food brands to under-the-radar dark kitchens. We’re here to help you too, so let’s get started!

Related: The Facts: Fast-Food Packaging Waste Statistics.

Why is Fast Food Packaging Important?

We’ll start with the basics. Fast food packaging plays a crucial role in the food industry, providing convenient and efficient solutions for on-the-go meals. Fast food packaging helps food remain fresh, hygienic, and easy to transport, allowing customers to enjoy their meals wherever they go. In addition, fast food packaging serves as a branding and marketing tool, showcasing the restaurant’s logo, promoting its products, and enriching the overall dining experience.

As the demand for quick and convenient meals grows, innovative and eco-friendly fast food packaging solutions are crucial to meet rising eco-conscious customer expectations. 

Related: The Best Packaging for Burgers: A Guide for Restaurants, Kitchens and Vans.

Eco-Friendly Fast Food Packaging

Choosing eco-friendly fast food packaging goes beyond simply impressing an eco-conscious market. Let’s understand why single-use fast food packaging affects the environment and why switching to sustainability is a good idea. 

Firstly, it’s a game-changer in reducing the environmental impact of the fast food industry. By ditching single-use packaging and opting for eco-friendly alternatives like biodegradable or compostable materials, we can tackle the waste problem head-on. 

Secondly, eco-friendly packaging is all about sustainability. By using renewable materials like plant-based or recycled options, we’re doing our part to conserve precious resources and cut down on harmful emissions. It’s a win-win. Going eco-friendly with fast food packaging shows that you care. It’s a statement to your customers that you prioritise the well-being of the planet.

In October 2023, the government is banning single-use plastic packaging, and this will have a direct impact on the food service industry. If your business is still relying on polystyrene food packaging and plastic cutlery, it’s time to make a change.  

Luckily, there’s a wide range of eco-friendly alternatives ready to step in. Sustainable fast food packaging options such as bagasse clamshell food containers and biodegradable cutlery align with the upcoming regulations and contribute to a greener future.

Branded Greaseproof Paper Rectangle Tag

Fast Food Packaging Materials

While convenience remains a top priority for fast food purchases, consumers are increasingly mindful of the environment and look for packaging that can be easily and responsibly disposed of. This can be a challenge for fast food outlets but don’t worry. To simplify the process, we’ve highlighted four essential factors to consider when selecting packaging for your fast-food products:

Materials — Help reduce environmental impact by using sustainable and eco-friendly materials, such as biodegradable or compostable fast food packaging. By using materials derived from renewable resources or recycled content, you can minimise waste, appeal to an eco-conscious market and promote a circular economy.

Functionality — Functionality plays a vital role in fast food packaging. Consider the type of food you need the packaging for. It should be designed to effectively contain and protect food, ensuring it remains fresh and intact during transport and consumption. Packaging should also be easy to handle, open, and close, providing convenience for both customers and staff.

Design — Fast food packaging design is essential for branding and customer experience. Just think about all the big fast food brands and their notable logos and use of colours. Eye-catching and visually appealing packaging leaves a positive impression and contributes to brand recognition. Consider incorporating your brand’s colours, logo, and unique designs which fits with your brand identity.

Disposability — Going for packaging materials that can be easily recycled or composted offers responsible disposal options and helps minimise waste. It is equally important to educate consumers about the correct methods of disposing of packaging, making sure they do so responsibly. 

Safety — Make sure the materials used are food-safe and do not pose any health risks to consumers. They should be free from harmful chemicals or toxins that can leach into the food. If you need a reliable storage solution for your food packaging, we can help. Our facilities boast BRCGS accreditation, ensuring the highest food safety standards for your stock. Trust us with your storage needs.

Availability and Cost — Evaluate the cost of the packaging materials and assess their affordability and availability within your business operations. Look for options that provide a balance between quality and cost.

By taking into account each of these elements, you have the opportunity to craft sustainable fast-food packaging that not only impresses your customers but also fosters their loyalty and encourages business. 

Related: What Is Food-Grade Packaging? Things You Need to Know If You’re in the Food Service Sector.

Choosing Your Fast Food Packaging Materials

When it comes to fast food packaging, choosing eco-friendly options is not only a responsible choice but also a smart business decision. Discover how you can make a positive impact on the environment while meeting the demands of your eco-conscious customers.


Add your branding to your packaging and learn about our custom packaging options today.

Kraft fast food packaging is made from premium-quality, food-grade Kraft board, which is durable and resistant to water, grease, and oil. It’s not only plastic-free but also biodegradable, offering eco-friendly disposal options. Your customers can choose to compost it at home, recycle it, or opt for commercial composting, promoting responsible waste management.

Our versatile snack boxes are leak-proof, grease-resistant, and stackable, making them a popular choice for various foods. For appetisers and sides (even churros!), our chip cups are perfect. For pizza and burgers, our Kraft-based burger boxes and pizza boxes are available in different sizes, all perfect for serving up sustainability effortlessly.

Bagasse Clamshell and Tableware

Keep it clean and get colourful compostable napkins for your food service

Bagasse food packaging is made from the fibrous pulp left behind after sugarcane is crushed to extract its juices. Eco-friendly bagasse clamshells and tableware are the perfect alternatives to polystyrene for serving your delicious treats. Bagasse is suitable for both cold and hot food and can be composted or disposed of as general waste since they degrade quickly. 

Bagasse tableware can withstand temperatures from -10°C to +120°C. Our range includes compartmentalised meal boxes, trays, burger boxes, and leak-proof packaging, maximising convenience and sustainability for your customers.

Paper Bags and Food Carriers

We’re certified carbon-neutral. Find out how we’re offsetting all the carbon emissions we make.

Give your customers an easy way to transport their fast food with our impressive selection of eco-friendly gable boxes and stylish twisted-handle bags. For a Friday night takeout or just a cosy night in — we have the perfect carry case for every occasion. Our range includes smaller eco-friendly grab bags for quick takeaways and durable carry cases for family feasts. 

Our paper bags and food carriers are home compostable and biodegradable, reflecting our commitment to sustainability.

Biodegradable Cutlery and Accessories

Personalise your food packaging with custom-printed greaseproof paper. Order now with low minimum quantities!

Ditch the single-use plastic cutlery and avoid being caught out by the single-use plastic ban. Instead, go for eco-friendly alternatives like biodegradable cutlery with a natural wooden look or robust bioplastic options. By making this simple switch, enjoy giving your customers the convenience of disposable cutlery without harming the environment.

Fast food can be messy to eat, so it’s important your customers can tuck in easily. Our greaseproof paper stands out from the rest because it doesn’t contain a silicone lining. Made from 100% virgin pulp, it features tightly woven fibres that effectively block water and oil from seeping through. This unique quality allows our greaseproof paper to be recycled or composted after use, unlike other options in the market.

Your New Fast Food Packaging Supplier

Takeaway Packaging is a renowned supplier of eco-friendly food packaging solutions in the UK. We specialise in offering a diverse range of high-quality products that are designed with sustainability in mind. Whether it’s compostable food containers, biodegradable bags, or recyclable paper packaging, we have one of the widest selections to meet the various needs of every food service.

We’re known for our custom fast-food packaging options, allowing businesses to showcase their branding and be part of an unforgettable customer experience. Our commitment to excellent customer service, competitive pricing, and flexible ordering options makes us a trusted and preferred partner for businesses seeking reliable and environmentally conscious packaging solutions.

Buy high-quality fast food packaging from our online shop or get in touch for a free custom design quote in less than 48 hours.