Eco-friendly packaging for chippy
RUBBISH-STREWN beaches are an all too common a sight over the summer months.
But the owners of one popular Barry Island chippy have become so disgusted by it that they are now spending five times more on their packaging to help tackle the problem.
Bosses at family-run O’Shea’s Cafe and Takeaway on Western Arcade have made the decision to stop using polystyrene packaging following owner Craig’s concern over its long-term impact on the beaches around him.
After taking over the shop from his father and grandfather, the 45-year-old has now decided to switch to fully biodegradable cardboard boxes, despite the significant extra costs.
Craig, who took over the family business in 2001, said: “I’ve been aware of the problems of polystyrene trays that take-aways use and the dreadful effects on the beach and the sea and I just wanted to make a change in the packaging we use.
“It’s bad for the environment and the fish in the sea and it’s going to have some kind of impact on our industry at some point.”
Craig hopes the change will benefit his children if they decide to follow their dad’s footsteps in the family business.
The dad-of-five added: “Unfortunately when we were looking at alternatives the cost impact is huge, it’s five times more expensive per item.
“We had to weigh up the cost aspect but we celebrated our 70th anniversary last year.
“We have been a family business for the last 70 years and the way I look at it I have children so, from a moral standpoint, I want to do the right thing for them.
“I want to be here for another 70 years so we’ll absorb the costs shortterm.”
Craig was originally inspired to act after making a video with his children showing large amounts of rubbish on Barry Island beach last year – an issue that was covered by the Echo at the time and which helped prompt the paper’s Big Clean-up campaign.
Since then he has spent time researching different packaging options before successfully trialing the new cardboard boxes over the summer.
He said: “I was on the beach walking with my family and I was just shocked by the amount of rubbish. That was the point where it was brought to my attention how bad the problem was.
“Barry Island is hugely popular and when the weather is really nice, tens of hundreds of people come. In the morning it’s spotless but when they leave people just leave litter on the beach.”
While the fish and chip shop has used a combination of cardboard and polystyrene boxes in the past, the switch to cardboard will come into effect next Saturday.