That’s the message from the Sustainable Restaurant Association, the originators of the Too Good To Waste campaign, now being rolled out by Oxfordshire County Council in 100 restaurants, and eco friendly packaging company Biopac, the suppliers of the ‘Take Me Home’ boxes.

Mark Linehan, Managing Director of the SRA, said: “These simple, recycled, compostable boxes, provide the perfect means to deliver a simple message, transport a tasty meal, and help restaurants to throw away less food. Diners tell us that food waste is the sustainability issue that matters most when they’re eating out, so this is a brilliant way to show their customers they’re addressing it.”

The SRA ran the initial Too Good To Waste campaign in London in 2011 in response to its own findings that the average restaurant throws out 21 tonnes of food a year and that embarrassment is the main reason more diners don’t ask to take food home. About a third of all restaurant food waste, or seven tonnes (the weight of a London bus), is swept directly from diners’ plates into the bin.

Biopac was approached by LCMB which is delivering the project management aspect of the campaign, working alongside Oxfordshire County Council to implement this project throughout Oxfordshire. “LCMB was looking for an environmentally friendly and cost effective 'Take me Home’ box for the Oxfordshire County Council’s ‘Too Good To Waste Oxfordshire’ Campaign. Biopac’s Kraft boxes represented the best value for money and had the right environmental credentials. The boxes look good.” Sam Brown, Project Manager at LCMB.

The boxes are made from wood pulp that is produced from sustainable forests in Europe and coated with a compostable material to render them leak proof. They are therefore functional and sustainable and, when they’ve reached the end of their life, can be fully composted, so are very kind to the environment.

Mark Brigden, Technical Director at Biopac, said: “This is a great initiative for a local authority to work with local businesses to ultimately reduce the amount of food waste. We are proud to have been involved in this project and encourage other local authorities to do the same.”

Biopac manufactured and printed 25,000 boxes for the Oxfordshire campaign, distributing a carton of 250 boxes to all participating restaurants.

The project was funded by Oxfordshire County Council with money from the European Regional Development Fund.

Councils can contact Biopac directly on 01386 555 777 or email to order Take Me Home boxes and get in touch with the SRA via email or calling 020 7479 4224 to discuss setting up a Too Good To Waste campaign in their area.

If you are a restaurant and would like to register your interest in this campaign, please do so using the contact details above. The more restaurants we can get on board, the more we can help reduce food waste in your area.

Please click here for a list of participating restaurants in Oxfordshire.