Are Sushi Containers Recyclable? ♻️ Podcast Ep. 18 Don’t Be A Waster


In this episode of our podcast on all things recycling – we discuss whether or not sushi containers are recyclable, so read on to learn more.



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Transcript – Are Sushi Containers Recyclable?


Hello and welcome to another edition of what I hope is fast becoming your favourite recycling podcast that is, of course, Don’t  Be A Waster, Recycle. And when I say hopefully your favourite, I actually don’t think there are that many recycling podcasts out there, which to be honest, surprised me a little bit due to a how interesting the topic is, you know, at least to me and be what I think there is a large audience of people out there. So yeah, hopefully the sector grows, hopefully. More people, you know, start expressing opinions about it because at the end of the day, the more people discuss the more ideas are shared the better outcomes.


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So in in today’s episode, I want to I just I suppose I just want to talk about I think in a recent one we talked about progress that people are making that we’re seeing you know whereby single-use plastics are being phased out and you know that’s a real positive but sometimes you just walk down the street or just in day-to-day life and sometimes it surprises me how little things are changing. I don’t know what listeners think of this but sometimes I and you see usages of plastic.


They just seem utterly nonsensical utterly they’re for no reason and the one the one I want to talk about and I think other people have mentioned it to me in the past is sushi shops. Take away sushi which is like in Australia – it’s incredibly popular I must I believe it is also in other countries around the world obviously in Japan but we I’m not sure how it’s packaged there. But certainly, we’ll talk about it in Australia the takeaway sushi which people will get in food courts and you even can get it in in Woolworths. They have sushi counters in the large supermarket chain and you get it at, you know, shopping malls – those sort of places, so it’s ubiquitous.


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It’s almost in every anywhere where people get their lunch you will get sushi and takeaway is a very large format through you know major chains and also through smaller independents but what surprises me about this is just this distil the proliferation of useless unnecessary at least to me maybe I’m uneducated on this topic but plastic in every aspect you know you go you pick up something some sushi and you get you know whatever you select some salmon or whatever it is and it will come in a plastic container it will be a plastic throwaway single use you know container with the bottom on the top see through on the top and you know a dark version at the bottom but that isn’t where it stops.


Then, on top of that, potentially, you’ll be given plastic chopsticks some would be wood, but I’ve also been given plastic. They’ll also be contained often in a plastic wrapper or plastic sheath, and then on top of that, you will be… you might get some soy sauce and it will come in a plastic container: a small plastic container a single use sachet you will get if you like wasabi. It will again come in a single-use plastic container and if you anything else ginger whatever it is the little condiments that come with the sushi it will be again in plastic containers on top of this you’ll in many in many locations you’ll also see things such as plastic grass I get concept I don’t really grasp you know you’ll get plastic grass I assume this is designed to make it seem fresher or greener, like… but at the end of the day, it does anything but I suppose it does it does almost the opposite and that aspect of things is to me is it is amazing.


And I see it, you see it everywhere so I suppose I just want to discuss why that is happening you know I’ve been to sushi shops more you know I think sushi is it is it a product that requires plastic and this is something I’m open to education on this I’m open to people telling me whether it does or not if if plastic is required as a packaging material you know what surprises you know for the fact that it’s fish potentially but you know I think in many aspects of fast food of takeaway food at least in Australia we are seeing cardboard more and more cardboard is normal you know which is obviously a much more sustainable packaging we’re seeing places like McDonald’s and burger hungry jacks.


Those are places they’re phased out. It used to be that Styrofoam was used often for the hamburgers and now it’s cardboard. Even at your local fish shop, fish and chip shop nearly always the fish and chips will come in in a cardboard box it would be cardboard of some type or another you know potentially wrapped even sometimes even in paper very rarely I don’t think I can even think of a recent memory where it was done in in plastic so I wonder why does the sushi industry still stick to utilization of plastic the other thing I find surprising you know again this could just be my own personal opinion or you could call this even maybe a prejudice almost you know sushi tends to appeal to more health conscious people than say the hamburgers or that that could I could be wrong or not but that’s just an impression I get.


It tends to appeal to people who care more about you know about health about potentially you know healthier lunch than chips and a hamburger and again that’s speculation but with that then I find it surprising that people who caring about health that there’s not pressure more pressure to also care about the environment because clearly you know if we’re putting plastics into the environment in the longer term that’s going to impact health and you know we want our fish stocks we want our oceans to be cleaned to be healthy places for fish to live and clearly if that doesn’t happen you know maybe I’m thinking too much, maybe I’m, you know, exposing my own mentality here that we have to think about the bigger picture and maybe that’s people just don’t care.


But you know, I just think so many of these things can easily be adjusted let’s just run through so the plastic packaging you know can’t we use some format of cardboard similar to what you get in a fish and chip shop or even a version of what you get in a McDonald’s burger that’s point one secondly do we need the condiments to be those little takeaway sashes can you not have a glass bottle on the table there and then you can top it up yourself before you leave the location is that is that possible would that reduce the need clearly chopsticks should be should be wood wooden clearly we should not be making them from plastic at this stage in the game considering all we know secondly you know just let’s get rid of the little grass the fake grass we don’t require that I don’t think anybody will miss it and like again the similar thing for wasabi for ginger I’m sure that could be added as a condiment on top you know I think even you look at some other fast food chains in Australia.


Guzman and Gomez is a classic example the Mexican burrito sort of bar where they you can at least before code and I think it’s coming back you could add you know condiments sort of tomato some sort of you know chopped onion these sort of things and it was added at a food bar again of course with cover there’s probably issues around that but as restrictions ease and we go back to some semblance of normality I think that’s the way forward so like I personally think you could reduce the plastic usage in these locations almost 100 percent at least 90 plus and that would make a big difference so you know I’m open to reasons or explanations as to why it is this way why we the these you know restaurants are using so much plastic is there a valid reason is it about freshness is it about you know the sushi you don’t want fish you know absorbing stuff or leaking into the cardboard there could be a valid reason.


I personally don’t know what it is so if anybody any listeners out there know please reach out and educate me I’m open to education otherwise I really do think it’s something that you know we should push more to help people recycle more or when we say recycle more just reduce the need for recycling by using easy mint easy materials like cardboard and also just those glass bottles on the counter that will not impact the enjoyment of the of the food by any means I don’t think and potentially make it a better environmental experience so yeah interested to hear your feedback if anyone does know the answer to this question shout you know come back to me otherwise yeah have a great week and Recycle, Don’t Be A Waster!


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