New Zealanders love a BBQ, but all too often a fun evening with friends ends with a rubbish bag full of disposable plastic plates, cups and cutlery, food wrap and other waste.
If you multiply the waste from a single BBQ with all the BBQs that will be held across the country each year, that’s a whole lot of unnecessary waste going into our landfills. So why not take up the challenge of hosting a low-waste BBQ.
Here are a few tips to get you started.
Bring a plate
Bringing a plate of food to share is standard practice for many of us, but why not ask your guests to bring their own dinner plates and cups as well? Or invest in some reusable picnic plates and cups that you can store away afterwards to use for future events.
Avoid plastic cutlery
No one enjoys trying to cut a steak with a plastic knife or pulling a broken fork prong out of their potato salad. And more importantly, disposable plastic cutlery is just one more source of plastic waste piling up in landfills and polluting our environment. Choose reusable instead – it’s not difficult to wash a few knives and forks at the end of the night – and if you don’t have enough to go round, one of your guests is bound to have a spare picnic set they can bring along.
Place a recycling bin centre stage
Make it easy for guests to do the right thing - have a recycling bin positioned on the deck or in the garden for empty beverage containers. You will need to quickly rinse the containers afterwards before putting them out for collection, but you’ll save time collecting them from around the house and sorting through your rubbish bin for empties.
Protect your food without single-use plastic
Make an easy switch and cover your salads and left overs with reusable beeswax paper, a food cover or use reusable plastic containers.
Reduce the amount of plastic drink containers
It’s easy to reach for plastic bottles of juice and fizzy drinks as non-alcoholic options for guests. But many would appreciate a home-made touch and less plastic waste. Use glass or reusable plastic jugs and make your own cordial to keep your guests refreshed – pop in a garnish of some fruit slices for a summery pop of colour.