Plastic-free Kitchen Tips at Home or Restaurants

We’re often asked how it’s possible to do shopping without plastic, whether that’s for your home kitchen or your restaurant/hotel, we would like to share some tips on how to do this.

One of the most inspiring restaurants we work with have been plastic free in their kitchen for many years, so we’ve asked them for a bit of help. Haven Restaurant began in 2011 and have always been on a path of sustainability. It’s in everything they do.

PFC and Haven met in early 2015 after the first Plastic Free July challenge was announced, they were already very plastic free and wanted their staff to know more of the reasons and knowledge about plastic being so bad for us and our environment. Thanks to this curiosity, the PFC workshop program began!

A photo of Chef Pardet from Haven even features in many PFC workshop slide decks with his cloth shopping bags for the market!

The trick to avoiding plastic bags goes something like this:

  1. Remember to take the bags with you to the market! Sounds simple, but it’s the first step. Put them in your moto basket, next to your keys or hang up a sign to remind you!
  2. Talk to the seller, let them know you have your own bag and to put everything in together.
  3. Stay focussed, it’s easy to get distracted at the market or allow the seller to sneak a bag into the produce – keep your eyes open and give back any bags to the seller if they accidentally fall into their usual routine.
  4. The extra mile – explain to the seller why you don’t want plastic, it will help them understand your motivation and be more likely to remember ‘no plastic’.

That’s all well and good for fruit and vegetables right? What about meat, cheese and tofu?

So glad you asked! It’s very easy and affordable to get some reusable containers in all sizes that can be used for this task.

Simply hand over a box to the seller as you place your order and ask them to put it inside without plastic bags.

For example: May I have 1 kilogram of chicken, please put it in here (as you are handing them the box).




Easy! Right? Especially if you speak Khmer! In the beginning some people feel shy, but when you speak the same language it’s even easier.


A couple of phrases for non-Khmer speakers:


No plastic bag – ort yo(ke) tong

Please put it in the box – som dark knong brow-op