It’s pretty difficult to eliminate plastic from a restaurant, but you can go further than ridding your business of plastic straws — and it will say a lot to your guests about your values. If you’re looking for a place to start, QSR Magazine suggests you first conduct an audit of your waste. Assess which items are piling up over a period of time — e.g. packaging from suppliers, disposable coffee cup lids, plastic utensils, single-use bottles. Then engage your team in brainstorming ways you can reduce, reuse or recycle your biggest waste generators. Can you eliminate your single-use plastic? How can you swap out disposable containers for ones that are either made from more eco-friendly materials or can be cleaned and used repeatedly? If you discard many types of plastic, is your team aware of how to separate those items to avoid contaminating them during recycling? The Plastic Pollution Coalition can provide tips and guidance to help your restaurant improve its practices. If you need an example to inspire you to take the next step, The Coup in Calgary, Canada is one model. Green Matters reports that the environmentally conscious efforts of its co-owners are woven through the entire operation: They replant trees through Tree Canada to offset their paper waste, recycle and compost everything possible, use BPA- and phenol-free-vitamin-C transfer paper for receipts, use metal and compostable straws, purchase with minimal packaging, and even decorate with repurposed or refinished furniture, countertops and decking.