Trying to cut down on plastic…

Jo Hampson and Dal Dawkins showing old plastic and replacement card

Jo Hampson and Dal Dawkins showing old plastic and replacement card

Like many others, we do our best to be environmentally sound, although it’s not always easy in the world of take-away food.

We have had some coverage in the media about our efforts (our press release) and we have also had an enquiry from one of our local schools! Pupils at Crosby Ravensworth C of E School sent letters to companies big and small, asking what they were doing about plastics… half the companies replied, including Shap Chippy. Apparently my letter got 10 out of 10! Finally aged fifty-something, 10/10… yay!

This is what I wrote back to Sam…

Thank you very much for your letter about plastic at Shap Chippy which was delivered to us on the 9th February. I am very pleased that you are taking an interest in these important subjects. We are also worried about plastic rubbish.

Sometimes problems come with progress but I do not think we can stop progress…

Fish and chips used to be wrapped in newspaper which saved money and recycled paper – progress! But the problem was that newspaper had poisonous ink on and germs from lots of hands, so now we have to use new, clean paper.

Fish and chips are best hot, and the invention of polystyrene meant they stayed hot longer! This was progress! The problem was that polystyrene is bad for the environment. Shap Chippy now uses “bio-boxes”. These are made from plant waste – this is progress! The problem is they have to travel from China. The polystyrene boxes used less fuel to get to Shap as they are made in Preston. Another problem is that the bio boxes cost three times as much and not every one wants to pay extra.

The invention of plastic bags was progress! They were invented as a cheap and convenient way to solve the problem of carrying a lot of shopping. But they are now part of the big problem: rubbish everywhere.

The Government tried to stop people using plastic bags by making big companies charge for them. Shap Chippy is a small company so we did not have to charge for them. We decided to charge for our bags to try and stop people using them and it has worked! Lots of people now bring their own bags for fish and chips which is great! We charge for the bags we do sell and give the money to the charity shop next door. We hope to get paper alternatives soon but we can’t get big enough bags with handles and they are all very expensive. We hope to offer a choice soon, which will mean even fewer plastic bags are used.

We have free wooden forks for our food. We charge for plastic forks so most people use the free wooden ones, but some people want something bigger. The money we charge for plastic forks we give to help keep Shap Swimming Pool open! Biodegradable forks are now becoming available but they cost four times more than the plastic ones. We hope to sell them soon.

I hope that this helps you realise we want to reduce plastic. Another reason we want to stop people using plastic bags is because our boxes need air to keep the fish and chips crispy. The plastic bags seals the boxes and can make the food soggy!

I wonder whether you saw what I had put on Facebook on the 1st February?!

“Shap Chippy
Published by Georgina Perkins · 1 February ·
Like a lot of people we are looking at ways to reduce our use of plastic… We got rid of polystyrene boxes last year in favour of our bio-boxes (NB they go in your garden waste!) and we are hoping to get cardboard pots for side orders of curry, gravy and peas… in the meantime if you would prefer to have your side in the bio-box with your meal and not have a pot, please ask! We are researching lots of options… Every little helps!”

We have progressed since then!

Shap Chippy Facebook about plastic reduction

Shap Chippy Facebook about plastic reduction