Sweet Release, a vegan cafe based in Wellington, New Zealand, offers discounts on zero waste tofu for all customers who bring their own containers.
The vegan cafe, which offers tofu in bulk, announced the discount last July on Facebook. “Zero waste packaging tofu available today in 100gms. You must bring your own container so we can keep the whole process zero waste. You still get 50c off per container you bring,” the announcement said.
Cutting Back on Plastic
Sweet Release said offered the discounts to encourage customers to bring their own containers when purchasing food items and raw ingredients. The event was a success, according to the shop.
The 50c discount on tofu was specifically part of the cafe’s Plastic Free July event, which involved various giveaways and prizes. Since the first of July 2019, Sweet Release said it implemented the following: “Removal of single use cups, a mug library, zero waste tofu, zero waste aioli, coffee grounds for your compost available. Next up on our zero waste plans is housemade vegan butter!”
On the Sweet Release website, founder Kris Bartley talks about the importance of both vegan baking and zero waste to her business, including how the name Sweet Release comes from how creating food helped her heal following chronic illness. “Baking has helped me in so many ways and that is why the company is called Sweet Release,” Bartley wrote. “Baking became my Sweet Release from the pains of treatment. I make sure none of our treats go to waste. Before I even got my first order, I contacted the Soup Kitchen to see if they would be interested in any leftovers.”
Why Zero Waste?
The impact of packaging on the environment is of international concern. Studies show that plastic pollution may outnumber fish in the ocean by 2050. While a number of efforts have targeted single-use plastic objects like straws, bags, and utensils, research shows that discarded fishing nets make up 50 percent of ocean plastic.
Sweet Release said that it is “discussing doing this on a regular basis with the team and the supplier” due to the success of its zero waste tofu.