The Journey of Fighting Plastic - TJ Katsu

eco-friendly landfills plastic sugarcane Sushi takeaway container Wellington

We have known that plastic plays a significant role in destroying our environment. However, the process of saying goodbye to plastic is not easy. It requires us to have a better understanding of the environment, changing our daily habits and also requires us to critically think about all of our decision when using products that contained plastic such as takeaway bags and containers.

Today Nature Pac want to introduce TJ Katsu, one of the busiest Japanese takeaway shops in Wellington about their opinion on the plastic products and the reason why they have changed all of their food packaging from plastic to compostable products. 

We came down to the shop TJ Katsu located on 88 Manners street and have a quick chat with the general manager, Lee about their composting packages.


What is your opinion on the Government’s decision banning plastic bags?

L: I think it’s the best idea for New Zealand to ban single-use plastic shopping bags. We have been notified by the government a year before the law change so it was not that hard for us to start clearing out our last plastic stock and change to paper bags. Plus, we switched to paper bags around the beginning of 2019 so when the regulation came into force, most of our customers are already used to use paper bags or bring their own bags.


Restaurant, especially takeaway restaurants might need to use a lot of packaging that contains plastic, do you think it’s possible to stop using all the plastic products?

L: Everything needs to be done step by step. I think it is possible to get rid of all of the plastic, but we need time. I’m aware of our impact on the environment. That’s why as a restaurant that serves takeaway food, I always need to think about the best solution to drop off plastic. First, we started with our takeaway container, we used paper bowl since 2017 and I’m quite happy that it carries the food better than plastic boxes. Second, we will move forward to control the usage of plastic takeaway soy sauce sachets. We are currently working on getting sugarcane sauce bowls for people who takeaway soy sauce.


[ Product used: 600ml Sugarcane Clamshell ]

What products that you are using at the moment and are you happy about it? 

L: We are currently using a commercially compostable paper bowl with PLA lining, not plastic. For sushi, we use both sugarcane and paper box, those are really great for home composting in 90 days.


[ Products use: 32oz Paper Bowl, 80oz Miso Cup ]

What is your plan in 2020? Will there be an any better solution for takeaway service?

L: We encourage customers to reuse, recycle, and compost. Customers who bring their own container get 5% off from there bill is a way to help Kiwis build their habit and reduce the use of single-packaging. However, we still going to provide certificated compostable packaging products for others convenient. We are working toward a better solution by getting the food waste out of landfills, this also includes our packaging. We are in the process of contacting local community compost facilities, and we are also considered to get rid of plastic takeaway soy sauce this year as well.

Thank you Joo-il for sharing TJ Katsu's opinion.

Catering a number of customers every day, TJ Katsu is very aware of the usage of single-use containers, choosing to use certificate compostable packaging is more sustainable than using plastic containers. In the journey of replacing plastic, we need everyone to take action. Starting with plastic bags and now is take away packaging. 

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