Which Packaging Materials Are Eco-Friendly?
100% reusable recyclable bag

There are plenty of different eco-friendly packaging materials to choose from, whether you’re buying in bulk for your business or trying to be a more conscious consumer.

With so many options, it’s good to know what makes packaging materials eco-friendly and which ones are best for you. As experts in the use of sustainable, biodegradable packaging, we’ll be sharing some handy insights on eco-friendly materials, so you can start doing your bit to save the planet today.

What Are Eco-Friendly Packaging Materials?

Eco-friendly packaging materials are safe and sustainable for people and the environment. They’re manufactured from recycled or renewable materials that are biodegradable and produce little environmental waste.

You might hear other terms, like “sustainable packaging” or “green packaging”, but these terms tend to mean the same thing.

Which Eco-Friendly Packaging Materials Should I Use?

Many different materials can be used for eco-friendly packaging, all with different qualities. Some of the easiest, most efficient and environmentally friendly options are:

Paper and Cardboard –– Natural, readily available, reusable, recyclable and biodegradable — paper and cardboard tick all the boxes! They’re perfect for packing items that need to be posted, as well as all kinds of takeaway food and drinks.

Corn Starch –– Ideal for items that have limited use, such as food and drinks. It can be used to make less harmful packaging “peanuts” that protect items sent through the post. It’s also biodegradable, leaving a limited impact on the environment.

Biodegradable Plastic –– Commonly used in postage envelopes or bubble wrap for bulk mailing, this type of plastic starts to decompose when it’s exposed to sunlight. It makes a good alternative to traditional, non-biodegradable plastics and is more resistant to liquids than paper or cardboard –– great if you need some added durability. 

All of these materials have numerous benefits, from protecting the environment to securing those all-important packages. But what can they do for your business?

The Benefits of Using Eco-Friendly Packaging Materials for Businesses

Besides the environmental benefits of eco-friendly packaging materials, other advantages extend to your business and your customers, too:

They’ll improve your brand’s image, attracting more customers, giving everyone a cleaner conscience.

They’ll draw more conscious consumers to your business; a rapidly growing market across all sectors.

They can be reused, saving you money on buying more materials and reducing waste. 

They have more sustainable production, so you can continue to manufacture products while conserving energy and natural resources.

 With so many benefits, it’s easy to see why eco-friendly packaging makes a great choice for your business. You can save money, build a conscious consumer-base and manage your business’ environmental impact by switching to more sustainable packaging.

If you’re a consumer, it can be less simple. How can you find out if your favourite brand is using sustainable processes and materials?

How to Choose Eco-Friendly Products and Services

Whether you’re doing the weekly shop or looking up a new product, there are a few things you should do before making your next purchase:

Look out for certification marks –– Some are well established and easily recognisable, like the Fairtrade mark or the Leaping Bunny logo, but you might not notice others at first glance. Take some time to get acquainted with more eco-friendly certification marks to make sure your next purchase avoids harming people, animals or the environment.

Do some research –– Look up different brands and see if they can back up their claims for being environmentally friendly. “Greenwashing” is sometimes used by manufacturers that want to tap into a more quality-conscious market, without taking steps to be kinder to the environment or their workforce. A simple web search can help you find the truth about a company’s ethics and processes.

Ask yourself, “Could this be more eco-friendly?” –– Consider how much packaging your product comes with and what it’s made of. If you’re buying particular products regularly, think about ways you could be more environmentally friendly, like using zero-waste shops for your regular food shopping or buying from companies that use eco-friendly packaging.

It can be hard to be fully conscious of everything you buy. If you’re ever in doubt, follow these steps to ensure you’re contributing to a more sustainable and eco-friendly society. With greater awareness of sustainable packaging and recyclable materials, we can all be better friends to our planet.

Takeaway Packing’s Eco-Friendly Packaging Materials

Finding quality, eco-friendly packaging can be difficult. Our mission is to provide non-toxic, biodegradable food packaging that protects the environment. Whether you’re grabbing a coffee or tucking-in to a tasty burger, we can help you be more green.

Let us help your business save money and become more sustainable with your packaging.

Has the UK Plastic Bag Charge Worked?
shopping with plastic bags, need to think about recycling

As of October 5th 2015, the five pence fee for plastic carrier bags came into effect in England, requiring all supermarkets and large stores to charge a minimum of 5p for every plastic carrier bag they give out. 

The primary aim was to reduce the use of plastic carrier bags — and the many problems they cause — by encouraging people to reuse bags.

Since the law’s introduction, there have been more developments, from increasing the UK plastic bag charge to 10p per bag and extending the law to all shops (not just supermarkets) as of April 2021. 

The government is also looking to introduce more laws banning other single-use plastics, which make up a significant proportion of the world’s plastic production.

But the question is, has the UK plastic bag charge worked? The short answer is…“sort of”.

The UK Plastic Bag Charge and the Environment

The good news is that the introduction of government policies has heightened public awareness of the issues surrounding the use of plastic bags, as well as other single-use plastics.

Most people living in the UK are now actively trying to cut down on the plastic they use and would support further government policies to reduce plastic usage (including doubling the 5p plastic bag charge).

In addition, half of Brits say they would pay more for products with eco-friendly packaging, whilst two-thirds of Britons think that all UK companies should be required by law to use packing that isn’t harmful to the environment.

With such support behind less harmful ways to pack our shopping and carry it home, it’s important to find out how much of a difference the plastic bag charge is making to our environment. 

This poses a challenging question: how can we measure the success of the plastic bag charge?

Plastic Bags: Past, Present and Future

To answer this question, we need to understand the lifespan of your typical plastic bag.

Plastic bags used by UK supermarkets are made with polyethylene (or polythene), a product of the fossil fuel industry. This kind of plastic can take over 20 years to degrade, meaning that the plastics we use today will be around long after we are gone.

From the moment we buy them, plastic bags have uncertain futures. Once they’ve fulfilled their initial purpose, it’s left to the consumer to decide their fate.

Sadly, the vast majority of plastic bags end up in landfill. The current rate of plastic production paints a bleak picture — with the production of plastics set to double by 2040. If this continues, people will be putting an enormous, unmanageable strain on our planet’s ecosystem.

So what other options do we have when it comes to plastic bags? 

The easiest option is to reuse the bags we buy as much as possible. Once the bags we own inevitably break, we then must find a plastic bag recycling facility where the bags can be repurposed.

With bans on plastic bags in Kenya, as well as in New York and California, alternatives are required before our reliance on the ubiquitous plastic bag returns. Using more durable plastic bags is part of the solution, but it doesn’t resolve the wider issue surrounding the use of plastic.

These bans have focussed the world’s attention on other plastic products. Plates, cups, cutlery, straws and bottles make up about 40% of the plastics manufactured worldwide. 

Along with the charge to use plastic bags in the UK, the government will introduce a ban on plastic straws in October 2020 as part of an effort to reduce our reliance on these kinds of plastics. 

It’s a step in the right direction, but what does this mean for the future of plastics?

Has the UK Plastic Bag Charge Made a Difference?

With a heightened awareness of the waste created by plastic bags and single-use plastics, as well as a progression towards more eco-friendly packing options, are we making a difference to the environment?

In some ways, it’s too early to tell. In other ways, it’s clear that we are becoming a more environmentally conscious society. Whilst we are a long way away from becoming plastic-free, the UK’s plastic bag charge is promoting more and more innovative solutions to our current plastic usage.

Takeaway Packing: The Antidote to Single-Use Plastics

Takeaway Packaging makes products that protect the environment.

We have a diverse range of biodegradable food packaging that’s helping street food vendors and independent foodies protect the environment as well as benefit their customers. From Ice Cream Tubs to Noodle Boxes, we cater to all culinary disciplines. 

Our certified eco-friendly food packaging exclusively uses natural resources for guilt-free takeaway consumption, all of which are fully personalisable. Add fresh logos to Takeaway Boxes or sassy slogans to Printed Bags for really radical recycling.

Interested in helping the environment and making your business a viable option for the conscious consumer? Take a look at our eco-friendly products today.

Can You Recycle Food Packaging, Containers and Trays?
disposable eco packaging

Whether you’re grabbing a snack from a street stall or browsing the supermarket aisles for a convenience meal, it can be confusing to know which parts of a meal’s packaging can be recycled and which can’t. 

In this blog, answer the question “can you recycle food packaging?” and teach you how to decipher between sustainable, smart packaging and plain, old plastic. 

Window with coffee cups and coffee, stall, kiosk
Photo by Viktor Talashuk on Unsplash

Tip #1 Read the Label 

It sounds simple but food labels generally have all of the information you need. You just need to know how to decode it. If you’re not familiar with recycling signs in the UK, read our blog The Recycling Sign on Packaging, Explained. Here, we discuss what each symbol means, as well as a breakdown of different plastic numbers and what they stand for. 

Food packaging may also have written instructions, as well as visual cues. Often, convenience meals will have handy instructions like “film not recyclable” to direct you. 

Look for this information within the fine print on the reverse side of the packet. 

Although every meal is different, most packaged meals in the UK have a combination of some elements that will be recyclable and some that won’t. If a product is 100% recyclable, it will often be highlighted on the front of the packaging. Even so, 100% recyclable items will often house multiple components that require disposal in different bins depending on their materials. 

Takeaway packaging is a little trickier since it’s often given without instruction. If you’re not confident about deducing which materials have been used, your best bet is to ask your vendor. Since the vendor will work with a packaging supplier –– like us –– they should know the full waste credentials of their product. 

Tip #2 Buy from a Sustainable Store

Stepping into a supermarket can be overwhelming. Juggling priorities such as pricing, prep time, nutrition and sustainability is tiring, meaning we sometimes buy the wrong things. A meal might tick a few of our boxes –– affordable, takes less than 10 minutes to cook and is relatively healthy –– but it might miss the mark when it comes to packaging. 

To make things easier, you could consider shopping at a sustainable supermarket such as a no-waste store or a supermarket with eco-initiatives. But, how should you choose? 

Shopping at a store that is generally better at providing sustainable options will take the personal pressure off this priority so you can spend more time monitoring your grocery bill and diet plan. The same goes for ordering from environmentally friendly takeaways and restaurants. 

Tip #3 Think about the Contents 

Even environmental packaging can quickly become hard to dispose of if grease or food remnants contaminate its surface. Materials like card may not be accepted at recycling facilities if they’re covered in dirt. Remember, always wipe your packaging clean before disposal. 

For this reason, dry foods are generally a safer option. If it’s a toss up between dry popcorn and cheesy nachos, this could be the deciding factor. 

However, you should never miss out on your favourite meal in the face of sustainability. Wet foods found in takeaways and convenience meals should be equipped with thoughtful packaging that can present an effective barrier against grease. Using materials such as bioplastic and PLA lining ensures card and other soft materials are made more sturdy. A water resistant, plastic-like lining protects the outer packaging making it more durable. That’s why we use bioplastic PLA or PLA lining to protect our compostable cups, as well as our cold food containers and hot food containers

Tip #4 Pick the Appropriate Bin 

Putting recyclable items in the incorrect bin is the equivalent of failing at the final hurdle. 

An otherwise recyclable item won’t be recycled if you don’t fulfil your responsibility of putting it in the right recycling bin. The BBC shares the life cycle of an aluminium can if put into the incorrect bin. Spoiler alert! Your recyclable item will, most likely, be diverted to landfill and take a lifetime to decompose. 

Worryingly, an estimated 30% of recycling rubbish that arrives at sorting facilities is incorrectly placed, meaning many of us are failing to recycle correctly. 

Public bins are often colour coded to make this job easier unless they’re a general waste bin, in which case you should avoid putting recyclable rubbish into it. 

At home, you can make recycling easier by opting for a sectional bin that has compartments for glass, paper and general household waste. 

Tip #5 When in Doubt, Buy Glass

If you’re feeling stuck and aren’t sure what’s most sustainable, glass is always a great, fail-safe option. Although glass items are often more expensive, they’re always 100% recyclable and can make excellent containers to reuse in your home. Plenty of dessert, condiment and toiletry brands exclusively use glass to package their products. 

While this swift solution works for supermarket products, it’s not so simple for takeaways. 

That’s where we come in. Our smart packaging solutions use innovative materials to make takeaways both environmentally friendly and user friendly. Choose from containers made from sugar cane and coffee cups made from plants. Plus, all of our products can be customised with good-for-the-planet veggie inks. 

Can You Recycle or Reuse Plastic Takeaway Containers?
Convenient but unhealthy disposable plastic lunch boxes with take away meal in plastic bag on wooden table

Wondering what to do with all those leftover plastic containers from your Saturday night takeaway? We’ll tell you whether you can reuse and recycle such containers, as well as what’s a better alternative for totally guilt-free takeaways.

Can You Reuse Plastic Takeaway Containers? 

If you’re the sort of person who likes to get the most for their money or likes to reduce waste from an environmental standpoint, you’ll be wondering what you can do with those plastic containers and lids that so often make their way into our household. 

It’s the morning after the day before and you’re tackling last night’s mess. 

Somehow you’ve amassed four or five plastic containers complete with lids. They seem perfect for boxing up leftovers and other snacks lying around your house. But is it safe to use them? 

It all depends on the type of plastic. 

Some plastic containers have a recycling symbol on their base and a number indicating which type of plastic it’s made from. If your container has this, you’ll be able to do some research to determine whether it’s indeed safe. 

If your container draws a blank, your best bet is to dispose of it. 

Some plastic containers can leach harmful chemicals into their contents. A great example of this is polyethene terephthalate (PET), which is one of the thinnest plastics commonly used for water bottles and salad boxes. There’s a good chance that the unknown material is PET since its the world’s most commonly used thermoplastic polymer

Anything that’s styrofoam also can’t be reused for risk of bacterial contamination. Since styrofoam is a foam, there is plenty of small spaces within the material to trap bacteria from food and the environment. 

As an eco-activist, it can be difficult to accept that all we can do is throw away some plastic items. Most of us immediately want to find some alternative use for such items to increase their lifecycle. However, the truth is that reusing plastic takeaway containers will do more harm than good and can directly impact your health. 

Can You Recycle Plastic Takeaway Containers? 

Since you can’t reuse plastic takeaway containers, what about recycling them? 

Again, it comes back to the recycling symbol and number indicator on the base of the product. Here’s what each one means:

1PET or PETEOnly curbside recycling programs will take these, so long as they’re rinsed and clean of any food. Do not throw in general recycling.
2HDPETakeaway containers in this form can be recycled through curbside recycling programs. Film and thinner products can’t be.
3PVC or VIt’s unlikely that this plastic-type can be recycled. That said, it’s always worth checking with your local council. 
4LDPEThis material isn’t widely recycled unless the store does a return program or your local council has a specialist facility. 
5PPLike PET, these containers can be recycled through curbside recycling programs. Do not throw in general recycling. 
6PSIt’s unlikely that this plastic-type can be recycled. It can be difficult to dispose of since it’s a foam product. 
7MiscellaneousIt’s unlikely that these plastic types are recycled since they have a broad classification. This numbering might refer to plastic film present on takeaways or a small portion of the packaging. 

So, not all plastics are created equal. 

However, they all require some additional effort to recycle in that they need to be entered into a specific recycling program instead of tossed with general recycling waste. 

These guys don’t belong with your flattened cardboard boxes. 

If you want to recycle plastic takeaway containers, make sure they are thoroughly rinsed to remove any food or residue. This is a must for recycling facilities who may fail to accept your items if dirty. Recycle Now suggests using the remains of your soapy dishwater to clean items before disposal, as well as removing any cardboard or paper sleeves. 

What’s a Good Plastic Takeaway Container Alternative? 

You might be thinking that fish and chips wrapped in paper or pizza served in cardboard is a much more environmentally-friendly way to eat takeout. 

Unfortunately, a lot of the time recycling facilities will reject such containers as a result of potential contamination. 

Contamination refers to lasting residue like grease on the material that interferes with the recycling process. Instead, truly recyclable takeaways need to be made from durable materials that are either similar to plastic or lined with a coating, allowing us to wipe away any leftovers.

As a consumer, you’ll need to be more vigilant about which takeaways are recyclable. If you’re a takeaway provider, you’ll need to change the way you package your food. 

Looking for a Good Alternative? 

We serve some of the biggest names in the British takeaway industry. They use our products because they’re designed to be guilt-free. You can choose from both hot food containers and cold food containers that use a range of sustainable materials, all accepted by recycling facilities. Materials such as PLA bioplastic give you all the benefits of plastic — durability, transparency, versatility — without actually being plastic. We also sell tougher versions of cardboard such as unbleached Kraft board and foam container alternatives like bagasse. 

Shop our eco-friendly food packaging now with free next-day delivery on orders over £100.

How to Reduce Your Firm’s Food Packaging Waste?
Office employee with smartphone having lunch at workplace, closeup. Food delivery

With a forced break from the office, most of us are taking the time to reflect on bad business practices — especially those with environmental consequences. 

We’re already shedding light on unnecessary business travel and pollution-promoting commutes. 

But what about office food waste? 

If your staff fridge is always stocked up with snacks and drinks for your team Google-style, it’s time to figure out how to reduce food packaging waste. A fifth of UK waste comes from food packaging with more than 30 per cent of landfill waste being packaging-related. This is sufficient reason to start taking action against the number of containers and bottles we throw out each week. 

Although most of us already have a good recycling system for our team to use, the problem is less about recycling and more about the reduction of packaging as a whole. 

Read on to find eight different ways you can reduce food packaging, without reducing any of the fun that comes from a mid-shift snack. 

  • Monitor food consumption 
  • Hire event caterers  
  • Choose ethical takeout 
  • Support local greengrocers 
  • Buy in bulk 
  • Make cooking fun 
  • Consider remote working  
  • Make your own takeaways

Monitor Food Consumption

The truth is, you might not even realise the amount of food that your firm collectively consumes. 

It’s much easier to gauge how much food you use in a week at home. You’ll need to put more of a conscious effort into figuring out how much food your company truly uses.

To do this, you might want to do a basic stock count at the beginning of the month and compare this with a stock count midway through the month. This will give you an estimate of the rate of consumption and whether your order frequency is too high. 

If you check the use-by date on each item week-by-week, it will instantly become clear if you’re wasting some food items and their packaging in the process. 

This step doesn’t require a change in any aspect of sourcing food — whether it’s from a wholesaler or a recurring supplier — it just forces you to be realistic about the volume of food you need to purchase. Plus, it might allow you to remove items from your order that aren’t favourites amongst your team.

Hire Event Caterers

Want to put on a special lunch spread for your team? Try to steer clear of pre-packaged buffets. Although it can be tempting to buy a commercial lunch in this fashion, the amount of plastic containers and cling film involved isn’t worth it. 

Instead, hiring event caterers who can make trending graze boards, tasty mocktails and request-driven food can be just as affordable and much more bespoke. In doing this, you’re making lunch feel a little more exclusive and interactive than it otherwise would. Plus, the ingredients used in this scenario are likely to be fresh and local. 

After doing some research, you’ll find that most caterers offer corporate packages as standard so you aren’t approaching anyone with a foreign idea. 

Choose Ethical Takeout

Group shot of biodegradable and recyclable food packaging on white background, paper plates, cups, containers, bags, no logos

If your office is in a crowded marketplace like London, there will be plenty of takeaway options vying for your attention. 

Apart from menu quality, you’ll want to learn to judge takeaway providers on their environmental status. Do they serve dishes in flimsy plastic and styrofoam? Or do they sport biodegradable food packaging? Do they deliver by bicycle? Or a less environmental mode of transport? 

These are all pointers to think about to make sure when you’re buying a Friday feast, you’re doing it from a reputable retailer that will help reduce your waste journey.

Support Local Greengrocers

If you’re used to shopping at one of the big six for your staff fridge staples, you might reconsider supporting a local greengrocer that offers package-less produce, as well as refill schemes. 

The ideal when reducing food packaging waste is to pick products with zero packaging or natural packaging.

If you can, only buy loose fruits and vegetables and use refillable jars and tubs to stock up on seed mixes and dried fruits for the canteen. 

Buy in Bulk

If you can’t buy everything from your local greengrocers without packaging — such as cartons of milk and spreads — try to buy these items in bulk. 

Buying larger tubs and bottles results in less packaging overall and often saves on cost. 

Where possible steer away from individually packaged items like juice cartons and carbonated drink cans. Instead, encourage your team to pour drinks from a large container into a glass to save on waste. The same goes for individually packaged snacks like flapjacks or cakes. A local bakery or supermarket will have whole options that can be sliced into portions later.

Make Cooking Fun

Most of us revert to buying takeout food or delivery — after all, we don’t all have time to cook a three-course meal from scratch during our workday. 

However, there are some simple lunch ideas that are feasible to cook — or rather build — at your desk. These include poke bowls, rice wraps and deli boards. For this, you can buy a bunch of fresh ingredients and have more control over the amount of food packaging involved in your meal. 

Cooking can also act as a great team-building activity that’s inclusive and doesn’t require you to source an outside venue. 

Consider Remote Working

A simple way to reduce your firm’s waste is to remove the idea of office-centric work. In remote work, employees are able to work from their home environment and of course, will source their food as part of this. 

While you can’t control the volume of packaging that your employees personally produce, this is a great way to remove reliance on a fully stocked fridge, as well as substantially reduce your operating costs. 
With the rise in remote working during coronavirus, many people are expecting to see remote working as a staple of the future of work. From an environmental perspective, this also removes the need to commute to work, reducing everybody’s carbon footprint.

Make Your Own Takeaways

Can’t get over that feeling of having already prepared options in the fridge? 

Your go-to might be to food prep and make your own takeaways to sit in the staffroom throughout the week. Buy our eco-friendly cold food containers in bulk where you can pre-portion granola and yoghurt pots, salads and cold pasta for any hungry coworker to enjoy. 

We sell deli bowls complete with lids made from 100% compostable and biodegradable material, as well as a whole variety of bagasse containers suitable for finger foods like tacos, sushi and veggie chips. 

Want to try your hand at DIY takeaways? Take the first step to streamlining your food packaging waste by picking up eco-friendly food packaging.

Everything You Need to Know about Bubble Tea in the UK
Bubble teas prepared in plastic cups.

Bubble tea has become increasingly popular in the UK over the last few years with dedicated bubble tea stores cropping up all over Britain. Most of these stores are in the capital, such as Biju Bubble Tea. As a result, you’ll no doubt have a vague idea of what bubble tea is already. Just in case you don’t, we’ll be covering the basics of bubble tea, as well as its origins and where to get it. As a takeaway packaging provider, we’ll also go into detail about bubble tea cups and other essential items. So, if you’re a seller of bubble tea, stay tuned until the end.

Does Bubble Tea Come from the UK?

Bubble tea didn’t originate in the UK, even though the scene in London is strong with plenty of places to try new bubble tea flavours.

The birth of bubble tea was actually in Taiwan. This tea-based drink has recently taken hold of the UK yet in Asia dates back to the 80s.

Bubble tea is still made in the original Taiwanese way. The drink usually consists of a type of tea — more often than not herbal — mixed with flavouring, tapioca balls, milk and sugar. The tea and tapioca balls are the key ingredients in the recipe — the tea allows this drink to qualify as a type of tea, while the tapioca balls give the tea that bubble effect. Tapioca balls are sometimes known as tapioca pearls or boba. These gel-like balls are made from a type of starch and appear black. When water, sugar and flavouring are added, they can sometimes turn white or clear.

The pearls soak up any flavouring, giving the bubble tea an intense taste with different varieties such as honeydew, lychee, mango, passion fruit, peach, plum and strawberry.

Plus, the tapioca pearls are fun to pop as you drink from a bubble tea cup. It’s this that has spread the craze for bubble tea across the globe as more of a beverage experience than a standard refreshment.

Yet the reason behind the bubble tea name is nothing to do with the tapioca pearls — that is a bit of a myth, understandably believed by many people. Instead, bubble tea is named after the bubbles and froth that form on the surface of the tea when shaken.

How to Drink Bubble Tea

You can order bubble tea hot and cold — but chilled bubble tea is by far the most popular.

If you opt for chilled bubble tea, the drink can be shaken or blended, much like an iced coffee. Similar to coffee, you should choose blended if you want a thicker consistency equivalent to a frappe. Most people will choose shaken as this is the original way to serve bubble tea. Remember, shaken bubble tea gives the drink its famous frothy bubbles, as well as the tapioca pearls.

Bubble tea should be served with a wide drinking straw so you can suck the pearls through the straw. So long as you’ve been served bubble tea in the right way, you should be able to enjoy your experience by doing the following:

  • Shake your drink — If your bubble tea is pre-packaged with a sealed lid, you’ll want to shake the contents to create that classic foam effect. Shaking will also help the pearls to lift from the bottom of the cup and make it easier to consume.
  • Stir while drinking — For similar reasons, you’ll want to continually stir the drink using your straw in between sips to encourage the boba to rise from the bottom of the cup. Use a similar approach to drinking hot chocolate to stop the drink from congealing at the bottom.
  • Use your straw — Like drinking a slushy, you’ll want to move your straw up and down to drink the tea-like liquid and suck up the boba equally. You don’t want to be left with a pile of tapioca pearls at the bottom of your bubble tea cup.
  • Enjoy the experience — Above all, just enjoy the drink. Although there is a tradition for drinking bubble tea, you don’t have to take it too seriously. The joy of bubble tea is it’s an experience you can take your time over. So, devour those pearls, slurp that tea and relax.

Where to Drink Bubble Tea (In the UK)

In Asia, it’s common to see bubble tea stands on the street, at a local market or in a small town. However, in the UK, you’ll most likely have to visit a major city to enjoy this exciting delicacy.

Most bubble tea locations in the UK are in London, but we’ve also included a few Northern locations on this list.

Bubbleology — London, Essex, Kent, Leeds, Bristol, Cardiff, Birmingham, Manchester, Oxford

This is the bubble tea brand that is killing the UK market right now with over fifteen locations nationwide. The brand has standalone shops and several retail concessions.

When visiting Bubbleology, you’ll find a wide variety of milk tea, fruit teas and alcohol-infused cocktail bubble teas.

While slurping on a bubble tea, you can also snack on an indulgent waffle since the brand has paired the two. Yes — this isn’t a traditional bubble tea accompaniment, but it’s a fun British equivalent.

Visit Bubbleology

Biju Bubble Tea — Soho, Westfield, South Kensington, Camden

London-based bubble tea brand, Biju has four locations so far in very different areas of the UK’s capital.

Its refined branding and simple menu appeal to many city-goers looking for a quirky break.

You can choose from a small selection of fruit teas, milk teas and toppings including signature cups such as Matcha Milk Tea and Iced Honey Green Tea.

Visit Biju Bubble Tea

Cuppacha — Soho, Sheffield

Despite its selective locations, Cuppacha manages to create a real hype with locals and awarding bodies like the Golden Chopsticks Awards.

From here, you can get bubble tea delivered to your door via the Deliveroo app. Choose from decadent Oreo milk teas and signature ombre drinks — both of which are completely insta-worthy.

With a strong social presence, you might want to snap a picture of your bubble tea moment.

Visit Cuppacha

Bobo Tea — Manchester, Sheffield

Bobo tea also had the genius idea of pairing bubble tea with waffles as well as frozen yoghurt.

Their extensive menu is packed with imaginative and authentic flavours such as coconut, red bean and jasmine. Got a sweet tooth? You might enjoy a cookies ‘n’ cream, vanilla or chocolate variety even more.

Visit Bobo Tea

How to Package Bubble Tea

Thinking about selling bubble tea in the UK? You’ve landed in the right place.

We sell sustainable packaging products suitable for your very own biodegradable bubble tea.

Bubble Tea Cup

Taking pride of place is a bubble tea cup. For this, you can use our eco clear cups made from PLA bioplastic. You must purchase a transparent cup for bubble tea so you can show off those flavoured pearls and ombre design for the experts amongst us. That’s why bubble tea cups are commonly made from plastic. To avoid an environmental nightmare, we sell transparent cups without the use of plastic. They look and feel like plastic but are instead made from natural resources.

Note, as these are designed to be takeout cups they aren’t reusable yet are still a perfect alternative to plastic cups.

Shop our eco clear cups here

Bubble Tea Lid

To pair with your bubble tea cup, you’ll want to buy a matching lid. If possible, you should choose a domed lid, rather than a flat lid or a lid with a sip hole. Our lids are made from the same sustainable material as our cups.

Shop our range of bubble tea lids

Bubble Tea Straw

True bubble tea connoisseurs know that a suitable straw is key to serving the best bubble tea. Having a fat or a wide straw helps your customer to retrieve those all-important pearls as well as to take sips of the delicious tea contents.

You’ll need to choose a straw with a wider diameter than on average. If an average straw is about 6mm in diameter, a bubble tea straw should be around 12mm.

You’ve guessed it — our straws are also biodegradable to help you build an environmental bubble tea package.

Shop our range of 12mm straws

Bubble Tea Cup Holder

As with any liquid product, you’ll need to offer a takeout cup holder to help customers transport several bubble teas at a time.

For this, you can use a classic carrier with space for either two or four drinks. Our version is made from cardboard completing your sustainable bubble tea vision.

Shop cardboard cup holders

Need something else for your sustainable store? Browse our online shop where you’ll find our entire range of products available for next day delivery.

Takeaway Packaging Achieves BRC ‘AA’ Accreditation

We are very pleased to announce that we have achieved level AA accreditation with BRC.

This means that all our customers can be assured that the high standards we operate in our organisation, will reflect in the levels of service, and quality of products that we supply to them.

We will of course continue to strive for better levels of service and quality in the months and years ahead, and hope that all of our clients achieve success and prosperity in the future.

What is BRC?

BRC (British Retail Consortium) is an international Food Safety Management Systems standard and is one of the recognised certification schemes. It contains requirements for food processors to follow to build an effective food safety management system. There are also editions of the standard for food packaging manufacturers, storage and distribution. The requirements of the standard address the key elements that must be in place for an organisation to ensure production of safe product.

Benefits of BRC

With a GFSI recognised certification, Takeaway Packaging can access those parts of the market that are only available to those that are certified. More and more manufacturers and retailers are protecting their product safety and brand reputation by requiring suppliers to achieve and maintain these certifications.

Opportunities for certified companies are expanding, while those for companies that are not certified are decreasing. By achieving and maintaining the standards and certification, we are also protecting our customers, their products and their brands.

Is Silicone an Eco-Friendly Material?
A hand holding a silicone egg beater with whip on top.

Is silicone eco-friendly? It’s the question on everyone’s lips as this convenient material features in adhesives, electronics and personal care products. Most notably, silicone is the substance used in most bakeware and cookware products made popular by its ability to be kept in the fridge, freezer or oven without changing its properties. Silicone utensils are less likely to scratch your pan and do a great job of smoothing out cake icing and brushing on butter. Despite how functional silicone products can be, none of this matters to environmental activists — we included — who care about the impact of their kitchen stocklist.

Is Silicone Eco-Friendly? Answered in Less Than 100 Words

Silicone isn’t the most environmentally friendly material on the market. Why? To produce silicone uses hydrocarbons from petroleum. It’s less than angelic start makes silicone difficult to recycle as most facilities don’t accept it. With that said, silicone is a better alternative to plastic — it’s just not the best. As a more robust material, silicone tends to have a longer lifespan than plastic and from a safety point of view, silicone is less likely to leach chemicals into other items such as food.

Why Choose Silicone over Plastic

Silicone beats plastic from both an environmental and health perspective. In terms of health, silicone is a safe bet for families looking to reduce plastic use in their household. It’s no secret that doctors have listed plastic containers — especially for food storage — as dangerous, containing harmful chemicals like bisphenol-A.

But wait, what is silicone? Is silicone plastic? Most people wonder what silicone is made of, if not plastic since it replicates the material in terms of strength, application and texture. Silicone is actually made from silica — a substance found in sand. It’s this silica that makes silicone so durable and able to withstand extreme temperatures. If you have a silicone product in your kitchen, it will boast the ability to withstand minus temperatures inside your freezer and boiling temperatures during cooking. Silicone won’t melt, contort or contaminate its contents. Neither will plastic — yet Silicone is also better for the environment.

Let’s be clear here — the production of silicone isn’t necessarily superior to plastic. Resources such as petroleum are burnt to form silicone. However, it’s the long-lasting effects of plastic after disposal that make silicone come out on top. Silicone isn’t biodegradable, but it is less likely to break down and be discarded after fewer uses than plastic. The hope is that with silicone, you can get more use than you do with plastic. You can use silicone containers over and over without noticing scratches, breaks or discolouration. The result is fewer materials are thrown out, leaving less trash in circulation. Remember — this rubbish ends up in natural water, trapped in the oceans infecting marine life for thousands of years. But make no mistake,  silicone will do the same thing given a chance.

Silicone is similar to the PLA bioplastics we use in some of our takeaway packaging products. They share the same commercial recycling process where the material needs to be exposed to high temperatures to revert to its natural elements. This means silicone can be decomposed of or recycled on an individual level — but when throwing out silicone products, you’ll need to be careful you’re placing them in the right trash where they go to specialist facilities. If they reach these facilities, silicone won’t take too much time to decompose. Small items can decompose within a single session and larger items can take a few sessions to disintegrate. Like plastic, if silicone isn’t disposed of correctly, they will take a lifetime to decompose.

What’s Better Than Silicone?

Perhaps the only superior alternative to silicone around the home is glass. Glass boasts the same benefits as silicone, avoiding chemical contamination and surviving severe temperatures, yet is highly recyclable. However, it also uses oil within its production process, making it an imperfect solution. Yet individuals will find glass containers useful, as there is no need to continually purchase new ones after a few months of wear and tear.

With so many household containers posing some environmental threat, is it worth having food storage at all? Like the plastic bags debate, people must pick the lesser of two evils — using cotton, which has a complex manufacturing process, rather than plastic, to increase the lifespan of their carrier.

Yes, you should still have some element of storage within your home to lead a more sustainable lifestyle. Having temporary storage allows you to avoid plastics in the supermarket by packaging directly into your own containers and prevents food waste as you can preserve leftovers in the fridge.

Frankly, the uses of silicone are plentiful, but its environmental image is less than perfect. Good old-fashioned glass is the only component that beats this versatile material due to its wide acceptance within councils as a highly recyclable element.

Looking for a temporary takeaway packaging material? Unfortunately, silicone and glass aren’t suitable. That’s where we come in. Browse our online store which is packed full of planet-friendly products made from materials like Kraft board and sugarcane to keep takeaways sustainable too.


Following the growth of the fast food industry over the last three years, it’s expected to be worth a whopping £9.8bn by 2021.  With over 26 thousand independent fast food outlets already operating throughout the UK, research firm MCA Insight confirm fast food dominates service led restaurants and they predict the foodservice delivery market will soon outperform the overall UK eating out market, with further substantial growth opportunities. 

We can already see established restaurants chains such as Nando’s and Zizzi now offering customers food delivery and businesses like Deliveroo extending their services to a wider range of foodservice establishments.


The fast food market or quick service restaurants (QSR) are defined by having limited to no table service, that prepare to serve food immediately.  Although big brands such as McDonalds are still among the major competitors, takeaway food outlets including bakeries, café’s and food vans are all included, with the number of independent outlets far outweighing the branded restaurants.


With the highest concentration of fast food outlets on UK high streets in a decade, and today’s consumer more eco conscious than ever, the packaging used to serve up takeaway or delivery food, will be under scrutiny from the consumer. 

There have been many surveys confirming this, one such survey was carried out by Waitrose & Partners after BBC One’s episode of Blue Planet showing consumers the effect of plastic on the environment.  Waitrose research suggested that after watching the documentary a staggering 88% of people changed their behaviour towards single-use plastic consumption.  Today we are even more aware of the negative impact single use plastics have on our environment, and very few of us ignore it.  This means consumers are actively trying to avoid buying products that use plastic where possible and are checking how they can dispose of the packaging before product purchase.

Regardless of whether you’re offering to deliver a delicious pizza, dishing up take-outs from a bakery or serving up nutritious vegan food on the go, the packaging you use will say a lot about your business and has the potential to affect repeat business and future sales.


With the growing interest to remove plastic single use packaging, the takeaway food packaging industry has seen a steep increase in the number of eco-friendly products available, with new types of biodegradable, compostable and recyclable food and drink containers coming into the market all the time.  At Takeaway Packaging we have heavily invested in sourcing some of the best products available, these include packaging made from bioplastics, cardboard and even sugar cane pulp!


Cardboard is still one of the most used materials for food packaging due to its sustainability and recycling options.  We stock many cardboard based food boxes and containers that can at the very least be recycled or even better, will biodegrade and de-compose. We have lots of options, suitable for hot or cold food.


Food containers made from Sugarcane Bagasse make the ideal eco-friendly fast food vessel.  As well as being compostable and quick to biodegradable it’s also an environmentally sustainable option.

Sugarcane bagasse is the fibre that remains after the sugars have been extracted from sugarcane stalks.  Rather than discarding or burning the stalks, the pulp is made into a paper-like substance called Bagasse.  Bagasse can be moulded into shapes and products that are perfect for the food industry.  At Takeaway Packaging we stock a large range of plates, bowls, trays and containers all of which are microwave and refrigerator safe. 


Sometimes plastic-like packaging is favoured by manufacturers and suppliers, it’s cheap, easy to use and at times safer than glass.  That’s why we offer bioplastic solutions – Bioplastics don’t have such a negative impact on the environment as traditional plastics.  The product range we offer, which includes clear smoothie cups, bowls and food tray lids are made from Ingeo Bioplastic Polylactic acid (PLA) which is a plant-based renewable material with an 80% lower carbon footprint than traditional oil-based plastic.  This material is also 100% compostable and biodegradable.


Another area we have seen an increase in, due it it’s environmental impact (or rather lack of) are paper bags.  Using less material than some other forms of food packaging, paper bags are a low cost, eco-friendly way to take out food, making them perfect for fast-food and takeaway outlets. 

As with most of the packaging we offer, paper bags are an ideal way to show of your brand by opting to have them personalised and printed.

You can shop for the full range of our eco-packaging here

Are you ready for the plastic straw ban in April 2020?
eco-friendly plastic straw ban paper and bioplastic straws header

From April 2020 the government are rolling out a scheme to ban plastic straws, drinks stirrers and plastic stem cotton buds in England, so if you haven’t already ditched plastic straws in favour of a more eco-friendly alternative, then now is the time to do it.

How Much Pollution Do Plastic Straws, Drink Stirrers and Cotton Buds Really Create?

It’s estimated we throw away 8.5 billion straws every year in the UK.  The Marine Conservation Society’s Great British Beach Clean 2017 found cotton bud sticks to be the 8th most frequently counted litter item on UK beaches and straws/cutlery as the 10th. 

Unfortunately, these items do tend to be discarded irresponsibly via flushing in the case of cotton buds or by littering.  Either way, plastic straws can take up to 200 years to decompose.  Staggering to think a product that is used just once for such a brief moment in time, will be around long after our lifetime causing damage to our wildlife and our planet.

It is encouraging to see however that research carried out by MPA, shows that the public passionately support the ban with 83% of respondents unsurprisingly voting in favour of the move.

Who Else is Banning Plastic Straws?

The wave of plastic straw bans and the replacement with paper straws has taken hold over recent years, with the UK Government slow to make the move.  Many food chains have already taken it upon themselves to move to more eco-friendly options; All Bar One started to replace their 4.7 million plastic drinking straws in 2017 with eco-friendly alternatives.  Weatherspoons stopped using plastic straws in 2018.  McDonalds have already completed their roll out to ban plastic straws and Starbucks already pledged to phase out plastic straws completely by 2020.

Plastic straw bans are already sweeping the US in states such as California and Seattle, so why has it taken the UK so long to follow suit?  Although the environmental issues surrounding plastic straws are obvious, straw pollution comprises of just 0.025 percent of the 8 million tons of plastic that flow into our oceans every year.

The opinion of environmentalists is that although prohibiting plastic straws alone won’t dramatically change much, it is it’s an import step to a larger well needed change in future behaviour.

The History of The Straw

Isn’t it funny how things in the world tend to go full circle over time?  The first straw to be patented in 1888 was based on paper wrapped around a pencil and glued together, this led to the mass production of straight paper straws by 1890 with the bendable paper straw invented some 40 years later.

It wasn’t until the 1960’s that it was discovered that straws could be made more economically and with more durability from plastic, which quickly went into mass production.

Paper Straws and Bio Plastic Straw Alternatives

At Takeaway Packaging, we stock the obvious and widely used paper straw option, which can be purchased in an abundance of colours, styles and sizes.

If a paper straw doesn’t float your boat, we also stock many biodegradable straws made from Ingeo PLA.  These are lightweight options that look very much like a plastic straw, while being eco-friendly.  PLA straws have the physical appearance of plastic but are made from bioplastic, which is 100% biodegradable and commercially compostable.

You can visit our shop to buy eco-friendly straws here https://takeawaypackaging.co.uk/online-shop/straws/