"Take It" is a campaign promoted by the environmental association ZERO with the support of the Environmental Fund that aims to raise awareness in the food sector about the right of citizens to have takeaway meals in reusable boxes.

The law has changed on this subject. In a statement, the environmentalist association ZERO reminds that restaurants will have to accept when their customers bring their own box to take their food. Furthermore, it is up to the customer to make sure that the box has the required hygiene conditions to take the food.

Reducing Climate Change

Susana Fonseca, from ZERO, told TSF radio that “when we are producing waste, we are also contributing to climate change because energy was spent to transform these resources and then more energy will be spent on treating this waste”, adding that if we can use our own boxes, we will also be helping to reduce climate change.

According to ZERO, the production of waste has been increasing in recent years, totalling 511 kg / per person in 2020. Of these, packaging represents about 26 percent of total urban waste every year, which is equivalent to about 130 kg per capita.

In addition, the association added that the reuse of boxes in the takeaway will allow catering and similar establishments to reduce costs and thus contribute to post-pandemic economic recovery. ZERO exemplifies that: “if each disposable box costs 20 cents and 10 customers a day bring reusable Tupperware, annual savings will be of €720.”

Furthermore, ZERO wants to bring together a set of restaurants and give them access to free communication materials of the ‘Take It’ project, which they can use at their premises, to raise awareness among their customers.

Additionally, the movement will also provide free training for the restaurants that are taking part in the initiative, in order to promote greater knowledge about the best environmental practices in the sector.

Restaurants getting involved

In this sense, The Portugal News spoke to Carlos Almeida, owner of the Kiwi restaurant in Portimão, one of the few restaurants in the Algarve that take on this challenge.

“Our restaurant has been open since October 2019 and we have always had this concept of a healthy lifestyle and sustainability, so even before this initiative, we were already encouraging people to bring their own boxes,” he said.

Furthermore, “we remind people, for example, by asking if they brought their own box today”. However, he admits that it is something that people in general are still not very used to.

“Sometimes, when people leave their homes in the morning to go to work, they don't remember to take a box with them to pick up their take-away at lunchtime”.

However, he believes that in the next few years, more and more people will start bringing their own box. “That’s the future!,” he concluded.

Find all the restaurants that are getting involved in this initiative at https://take-it.pt/estabelecimentos/