As a hospitality-facing business that’s proud to be based in the beautiful city of Norwich, we couldn’t let this local news story pass without a comment: https://www.edp24.co.uk/features/could-hospitality-in-norfolk-plug-covid-19-jobs-gap-1-6841467
It’s been a tumultuous year for all of us, and we know that we’re not out of the woods yet, but it’s fantastic to see how Norfolk’s vibrant hospitality industry has already begun to bounce back after the long months of lockdown. Even though there may still be difficult times ahead, it demonstrates how everybody is coming together to support each other, and how essential our restaurants, cafes, and bars etc. are to our way of life. It also seems ironic, but in a wonderful way, that the industry that’s arguably been hardest hit by the pandemic is one of the first industries that seems able to offer genuine hope as we all try to get back on our feet. It doesn’t seem to be a story that’s unique to Norfolk, either. All over the country, hospitality venues have been overwhelmed by the support of their customers and are offering unemployed people the opportunity to get back to work.
From our point of view, although we’re a very young company and launching our business just when the lockdown started was the exact opposite of good timing (!), we want to say how proud we are to be a small part of Norwich’s amazing hospitality community. We started Earth Restored because we want to help make a positive change in our customer’s lives by offering you tableware, cutlery and food packaging that is sustainable, recyclable, biodegradable, and ethically sourced. We wanted to encourage people to be more conscious of our responsibility to our planet so that we can all enjoy the food we’re eating and purchasing without polluting our environment with more plastics, chemicals, toxins and greenhouse gases. On top of all that, we also hoped that the tableware and food packaging we produce might prompt the people who use it to begin a conversation about what else we could all do to be kinder to our world and each other.
We know what you might be thinking – that’s a crazy amount of pressure to put on sustainable food packaging and tableware! But sometimes crazy things can happen when you start out with a dream.
The fact is, even though it feels counterintuitive to use the word ‘positive’ in any conversation about COVID-19, some really positive things have happened since the pandemic began.
We’ve become more conscious about the importance of looking after our health.
We’ve become more conscious about the importance of looking after each other.
We’ve seen the incredible changes that began to happen while the world was on lockdown, and the planet started to repair again. Air and water quality dramatically improved. Carbon emissions sank. Plants, fish, animals and other wildlife returned to regions where they hadn’t been seen in decades.
But when the UK went into lockdown, something very bad happened, too. Because we were advised to stay at home, many of us turned to the internet to order takeaway food and other essentials. For a while, online ordering was the only option available to many people, and it brought an increase in the use of plastic that cannot be recycled, including fast-food packaging and disposable tableware. The situation has got worse since the lockdown restrictions relaxed and increased numbers of people have gathered in public spaces and visited parks and beaches. Charities like Keep Britain Tidy, Thames 21, and Surfers Against Sewage have reported that the main type of rubbish they’re collecting is single-use plastic like fast-food packaging, cutlery, straws, and drink bottles, although discarded face masks and PPE has also added considerably to the problem.
Before COVID, the UK and the rest of the world were starting to make significant advances in the fight against plastic pollution and climate change. We can’t let ourselves go backwards.
If you’re a hospitality business owner who’s currently using environmentally un-friendly, non-recyclable tableware pr packaging, please consider talking to us about making a change. If you’re currently using environmentally un-friendly, non-recyclable tableware at home, or when you go out to the park or the beach, please take a look at what we can offer.
All our products are made from sustainable, vegetable raw materials, and we never use any plastic, chemicals, glues, or resins. Our cups, plates and takeaway packaging can hold hot or cold foods and liquids without warping or going soggy, and they’re specially designed to complement every occasion perfectly, from a garden barbecue or picnic on the beach to something much more formal. Most importantly, everything we produce is compostable, biodegradable, reusable, and 100% carbon neutral.
The positives that have emerged from this crisis – people coming together and supporting each other, our planet starting to become healthier again – are proof of what can happen when we start to take more care of ourselves and the world around us. The news story about how the hospitality industry is rejuvenating in Norfolk, and how many more people could benefit as a result, is also proof of how much we can achieve when we all come together.
As Nina Schrank, a spokesperson for Greenpeace UK, recently said; “The pandemic has brought our attention back to the important things in life – how we protect our health, our families, and our world. We need to keep up the momentum on drastically reducing how much single-use plastic we use so we can protect our environment and wildlife – our birds, seas and rivers, valued even more highly since lockdown.
“While plastic has a place in medicine, where suitable alternatives don’t exist, we don’t need to wrap our food and drinks in 900,000 tonnes of packaging – the astonishing volume our supermarkets use, even after lots of commitments to cut down.
“We must protect the health of our planet as well as our people, and make sure that the Government and retailers go further and faster to tackle our growing plastic problem.”1
A powerful way to start tackling the plastic problem is by becoming more mindful of the food packaging and tableware we use.
Will you be the difference, and join us on our mission to help change the world?