4 Ways Restaurants Can be Environmentally Friendly

From the choice of cooking oils to cutlery made of corn, mankind has found ways to lessen the damage on planet Earth.

  • Straws Made of Plants

We use and dispose of several billions worth of plastic straws every year, much of which ends up in the ocean or in the wild killing much of marine and wild life. At this rate, by year 2050, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish. Getting rid of the concept of straws isn’t the practical solution, since there are people who need straws – anyone who has had a stroke, has autism, MS, or life changing physical issues need a straw. However compostable plastic straws now exist. Polylatic Acid (PLA) is a new material used in place of plastic for straws and cups. PLA is made of sustainable and renewable resources such as corn and tapioca, and is non-toxic upon contact with food or when incinerated. It’s 100% biodegradable and compostable, even in cold ocean. The coolest part is that it doesn’t compromise on functionality either, as it feels and performs just like plastic. One day, we can hope for the costs for PLA to go down, but meanwhile Tunglok restaurants endeavor to play their part in being a responsible Earth citizen by investing in these biodegradable straws in all of its outlets.

  • What’s the issue with tissues?

Tissues are typically made of trees (wood pulp), which take 40-50 years to mature. It’s easy to notice we use tissues faster than trees can grow, which causes a devastating effect on our planet. Instead, we look to bamboo to make our napkins and wet tissues, by brands like Cloversoft. Bamboo is a type of grass that grows faster than any other woody plant, and also does not require pesticides or insecticides. To harvest, bamboo doesn’t require slash and burn techniques. The ease of growth makes it an abundant, readily available sustainable resource.

  • How to play our part against The Haze: Sustainable Palm Oil

Many of you might remember our worst haze crisis a few years ago, caused by wildfires in Indonesia as a result of using the slash-and-burn method to clear forests and make way for oil palm plantations. Such a method of deforestation causes climate change and destroys the natural habitat of wildlife and our ecosystem, amongst other harmful consequences.To help in the efforts to stop this practice, TungLok has pledged its commitment to have all its restaurants switch to using sustainable palm oil. Sustainable palm oil is from plantations that follow the strict standards set out by the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), which is a global certification body of sustainable palm oil.
Palm oil is the most produced, consumed and traded vegetable oil in the world, and is therefore vital to the world economy. In order to keep up with the rapid demand of palm oil, producers are cultivating it at the huge expense of our climate and environment. Because the production of palm oil requires land and forests to be cleared for the development of oil palm plantations, the industry is hence linked to major issues, including deforestation, climate change and wildlife extinction.

Tunglok Group is now officially a member of the South-east Asia Alliance for Sustainable Palm Oil (SASPO), an initiative led by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Singapore, which champions the use of sustainable palm oil in business supply chains.

  • Alternatives to Plastic Cutlery and Plateware

We’ve achieved a technological advancement in creating biodegradable tablewares. Alps Group has developed these disposable products that use 70% organic content, primarily made of corn. While there is still plastic content in the product, the mixing of cornstarch increases the plastic degradability. These plastic cups, plates, and cutlery have shown that it will be completely degraded in 90 days under landfill conditions. At Tunglok Group and Bellygood, we use these products instead of full plastic containers for our catering and packaging.

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