7 Types of Restaurant To-Go Packaging Products to Know


If you are thinking about choices for restaurant to-go packaging products, one of the main concerns is the environmental impact. With the increasing awareness about sustainability and the need to reduce waste, many restaurants are opting for eco-friendly food packaging options. These packaging products are made from renewable materials and are designed to minimize the negative impact on the environment.

One popular eco-friendly option is the paper food tray. These trays are made from recyclable materials and are biodegradable, making them a great choice for those who are conscious about the environment. Paper food trays are not only eco-friendly, but they are also sturdy and can hold a variety of food items securely.

Another eco-friendly option is the plastic portion cup. While plastic has been criticized for its negative impact on the environment, there are now options available that are made from biodegradable or compostable materials. These plastic portion cups are perfect for sauces, dressings, and other condiments, and they can be easily disposed of in an environmentally friendly manner.

Microwavable food containers are also gaining popularity as an eco-friendly food packaging option. These containers are made from materials that are safe to use in the microwave and can be reused multiple times. They are a convenient choice for customers who want to reheat their food without transferring it to another container.

Here’s a quick reference list for seven to-go packaging products:

  1. Paper Food Trays – Sturdy and compostable paper trays that hold entrees, sides, and desserts. Great for hot or cold foods.
  2. Plastic Portion Cups – Small plastic cups with lids for sauces, dressings, and condiments. Convenient for dipping and pouring.
  3. Microwavable Food Containers – Plastic takeout boxes that can go from freezer to microwave for easy reheating. Keeps food hot.
  4. Molded Fiber Takeout Containers – Eco-friendly fiber boxes made from recycled materials. Secure and leak-proof.
  5. Eco-Friendly Straws – Reusable straws made of steel, silicone, or bamboo. Reduce plastic waste.
  6. Soup Containers – Insulated cups or bowls with lids for soups, stews, and chilis. Keeps contents hot.
  7. Beverage Cups – Plastic or paper cups with lids for cold and hot drinks like water, soda, coffee, and tea.

Let’s look at a few in more detail.

Paper Food Tray

One of the most commonly used restaurant to-go packaging products is the paper food tray. These trays are not only eco-friendly but also versatile and convenient. They come in different sizes and shapes to accommodate various types of food items.

Whether you need a small tray for fries or a larger one for a full meal, paper food trays can meet your needs. They are also available with compartments, making them ideal for serving items that need to be kept separate, such as a burger and fries.

Paper food trays are also easy to stack and store, saving valuable space in the kitchen or storage area. They can be customized with the restaurant’s logo or branding, adding a professional touch to the presentation of the food.

Plastic Portion Cup

Plastic portion cups are another common type of restaurant to-go packaging product. These cups are perfect for serving sauces, dressings, and other condiments. They come in various sizes, ranging from small portion cups to larger ones for sharing.

One of the advantages of using plastic portion cups is their durability. They are less likely to break or leak compared to other types of packaging, helping to make sure the food does not spill during transport. Plastic portion cups also come with lids, which further prevents any leakage.

While there has been a growing concern about the use of plastic, it is important to note that not all plastic is created equal. Many plastic portion cups are now made from biodegradable or compostable materials, making them a more environmentally friendly choice.

Microwavable Food Containers

Microwavable food containers are designed for meals that need to be heated before consuming. These containers are made from microwave-safe materials that can withstand the heat without melting or warping.

One of the advantages of microwavable food containers is their convenience. Customers can simply place the container in the microwave and heat up their meal without having to transfer it to a different dish. This saves time and effort and makes the whole dining experience more enjoyable.

These containers are available in different sizes and shapes to accommodate various types of food items. They are also stackable, making them easy to store and transport. Microwavable food containers can be used for both hot and cold food, so they are a versatile option for restaurants.

All of the above-mentioned cups and containers are a big step toward convenience and – in some cases – a more eco-friendly way of temporarily transporting and/or storing foods and drinks. But wait… there’s more!

Even More Eco-Friendly Options

As consumers become more environmentally conscious, restaurants and food vendors are looking for sustainable alternatives to traditional plastic and Styrofoam takeout containers and plastic straws. Two eco-friendly options gaining popularity are compostable molded fiber containers and plant-based straws. 

Molded fiber takeout containers are made from recycled paper pulp or other natural fibers like bamboo or wheat straw. The pulp mixture is formed into containers using molds and heat compression. Molded fiber containers are sturdy yet completely biodegradable and compostable. Unlike Styrofoam, they won’t sit in landfills for centuries. Many varieties are microwavable and freezer safe as well. The natural fiber material keeps food at proper temperatures effectively. 

Though slightly more expensive upfront than plastic or Styrofoam, compostable molded fiber represents significant savings for businesses when waste removal costs are factored in. 

Eco-friendly straws provide a sustainable alternative to standard plastic straws. Many reusable options are made of stainless steel, glass, or silicone. Disposable plant-based straws come in a variety of materials like paper, bamboo, hay, or an edible seaweed extract called agar. Straws made from these biodegradable materials can be commercially composted along with their fiber food containers. Using compostable straws and takeout containers is an easy way for food vendors to reduce their environmental impact and meet growing consumer demand for sustainability. 

With so many available options, restaurants can choose eco-friendly products that fit their budget and allow them to market their business as environmentally responsible. 

All in all, where restaurant to-go packaging products are concerned, there are several options to choose from. Eco-friendly food packaging, such as paper food trays, plastic portion cups, and microwavable food containers, are becoming increasingly popular due to their positive impact on the environment.

Paper food trays are versatile and convenient, while plastic portion cups are durable and come with lids to prevent leakage. Microwavable food containers are perfect for meals that need to be heated before consuming.

It is important for restaurants to consider the impact of their packaging choices on the environment and choose options that are both functional and eco-friendly. By going with sustainable packaging solutions, restaurants can contribute to reducing waste and preserving the planet for future generations.

Scroll to Top