Plastic-free Tamil Nadu: This Besant Nagar restaurant shows the way 

The hotel industry may be concerned about challenges it may face in view of the ban on single-use plastics from January 1. 
Image used for representational purpose only.
Image used for representational purpose only.

CHENNAI: The hotel industry may be concerned about challenges it may face in view of the ban on single-use plastics from January 1. But, for Ka Organic restaurant at Besant Nagar, the ban is a good news indeed. The pure vegetarian restaurant, which was set up in 2016, has been promoting the eco-friendly concept since its inception. The restaurant serves organic South Indian cuisines on plates made of leaves to its customers. For takeaways, it uses stainless steel tiffin boxes and aluminium boxes. The restaurant charges a minimum amount for the steel boxes which is refundable once the customer returns them. 

Solid food products are packed in good quality aluminium foil boxes while to avoid spillage of liquid food items, the restaurant uses steel tiffin boxes. One of the promoters of the restaurant, Anita Rajgopalan said, “The idea behind starting the restaurant was to provide an option to the people, where they can get completely organic, nutritious and eco-friendly food.

Our restaurant runs on the concept of ‘farm to table’ and we serve food prepared from fresh farm produces that is procured from farmers directly. We cannot waste the nutritional value of organic food by packing it in plastic. So we introduced the system of delivering food in steel boxes. “We are happy with the plastic ban as now more people will avoid using the harmful plastics,” she said. “Charges for the delivery containers depend on the quantity of food ordered.  We charge a minimum of `10 for the steel container used for packing sambar for one person,” she said.

The journey, however, was not that easy. Anita said that initially they faced hiccups as many people were not interested in ordering food from the restaurant as they did not use plastic for packing. “Things have changed in the last three years. Now, we have created a pool of loyal customers who prefer our restaurant because of our eco-friendly ways. We are making good profits. Looking at the success, founder of the restaurant V P Raj plans to start a few more branches in the city,” said Anita, a nutritionist by profession. The restaurant has one branch at T Nagar named Green Cafe.

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