Wagamama is set to start trialling a ‘bring-your-own’ takeaway containers initiative, a key step in its aims towards sustainability. Louisa Keddell, Wagamama New Zealand communications manager, said that the New Zealand branch is a leader in the global chain’s sustainability strategy.

“In true kaizen spirit, we recognize the need for ‘good change’ and to exist and grow in harmony with our environment and the needs of our planet. We are consistently looking into ways to make sustainable changes by eliminating plastic straws last year and now trialling this new initiative.”

Wagamama New Zealand follows one of the highest international food safety standards in the world, set by the London City Guild. For this reason, Wagamama reserve the right to reject any container supplied that is visibly unclean or made of an unsuitable porous material.

Currently, nearly 300 million tons of plastic is produced in the world, half of which is intended for single use only. More than eight million tons of plastic is dumped into oceans every year, leading to catastrophic results for the environment and wildlife.

The chain, which has two restaurants in Auckland and one in Wellington, is also giving diners the chance to vote for which charity to support – Our Seas Our Future or Sustainable Coastlines.

“New Zealand should take a leadership approach, both with individuals being innovative and coming up with new ideas and businesses operating here being used as testing grounds for new ideas that can be refined further to solve bigger environmental issues,” said Cam Howitt, co-founder of sustainable coastlines. “We commend Wagamama and the types of businesses who stand up and say no to plastic pollution not just once, but consistently, such as by banning plastic straws. They recognize that it’s not a one-off event but a journey and they’re showing they are committed to that journey.”