I guess my war on waste really started when I became a chef and started Peardrop five years ago.  I couldn’t believe the amount of food and packaging waste I was seeing hitting the bins. I was amazed at the lack of respect for perfectly good food that is consistently thrown away.

I was brought up to be really conscious of wasting things.  My Dad banned plastic bottles from our house when I was growing up, which drove me mad when I had friends round and he’d make a huge fuss if they came in drinking from one. It was so embarrassing, but at the same time it made an impression.  My Dad joined the county council so that he could improve the recycling systems in Norfolk.  He hasn’t had plastic in his house for years and is now boycotting plastic in clothes: he’s a bit of a visionary!

It’s not always easy to instil those values in chefs who have old habits and are fond of using scary amounts of cling film!  Our kitchen here doesn’t waste any food, in fact people from the surrounding kitchens come and bring us surplus because they know we’ll pickle or preserve or use it in our lunches.  Once I’d established that though, it was food packaging, and particularly plastic, that really started getting to me.  So last Summer I had the idea to try and run a Plastic-Free Pop Up Cafe, which was London’s first.  It wasn’t entirely possible as there’s no replacement for many things like bin bags & coffee cup lids (though we used ones made from plant-based plastic).  And no one appreciated the ban on cling film! 

When I told my Dad what a great reception the cafe had had, and subsequently how, in the wake of Blue Planet, people were genuinely starting to change their habits, he asked me if those people would actually commit to cutting out plastic - or were they just swimming with the tide, too used to a life of convenience?  That’s what inspired me to try and get people to make a “Plastic Pledge”.  At the dinner, everyone will have their menu on a piece of paper (as a table mat) with a check list of what they will commit to giving up.  Straws, bags, coffee cups or bottles for a week, a year or even a lifetime...?!

For more information & tickets, click on our invitation below.

Hope to see you there! x




Rose Lloyd OwenComment