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Plastic Free July

How to Get Zero Waste Takeout

How to Get Zero Waste Takeout

Now that you've decided to remove unnecessary plastic from your life does that mean that you'll be forced to live a life without TAKEOUT!? 

There's something I love about takeout. I'm not sure what it is, but I love the convenience of swinging by a restaurant, grabbing some grub, and feasting on the couch in front of the TV. 

It just makes me feel rebellious. 

Can you tell, that I have never really identified as a rebel? 

Thanks to apps like Grubhub and Postmates, I feel like the novelty has been lost now that you can get pretty much any food delivered to your door. 

So is it still possible to partake in this activity without winding up with a bunch of trash? 

I think so! Here are a few of my favorite ways to get takeout the zero waste way. 

Go for Pizza: 

Pizza is definitely my favorite food to get to go. I love to indulge in the Pizza Friday tradition! 

Every Friday I either go out to get pizza or I have it delivered. 

When I have it delivered, I always ask for no sauces, spice packets, and NO plastic pizza separator. 

You know that small white plastic mini-table inside of the pizza box. Apparently, it's there to keep the pizza from touching the top of the box. I have never had a problem with my pizza without the separator and find it to be fairly unnecessary. 

When my pizza comes to the door, the only thing I get is the pizza AND the box. 

Pizza boxes aren't generally recyclable because you can't recycle paper or cardboard that's greasy or covered in food. 

If the top of your pizza box is clean, then you can rip that part off and recycle it. 

Then the bottom (typically the part with the grease and the food) you can put in your compost bin!


Instead of getting your food delivered, pick it up... and bring it home in your OWN container. 

Yes! You can do this and it's much easier than you might think. Here are all of my tips below. 

call ahead:

If you've never gotten takeout from the restaurant before, consider calling ahead. Let them know that you're coming and that you'd like the takeout to go in your own container.

Often times, I'll just place my order, let them know I'm bringing my own containers and ask that they DON'T put it into their to-go containers. 

I stress that I'm bringing my own. If they don't understand me, then you can always request that they put it on plates for you and you can put it into your own container when you get there. 

pick out your containers:

Take a look at the menu and figure out what you're going to order and what reusable containers you can bring to match what you're ordering. 

Also, make sure your containers are squeaky clean! 


don't ask: 

This is my best piece of advice. I don't ask for things to go in my own container anymore. Instead, I politely tell the person behind the counter what I would like. 

For instance, "I would like three eggrolls to-go in here!" *present container and smile*

See, it's that easy! When you ask the question you give them the opportunity to tell you 'No.' When you tell them what to do you remove the 'No' option. 

They still might tell you 'No' but it's far less likely.