POPULAR restaurants and cafes in Bradford are part of a new ‘green’ scheme where customers can get discounted food if they return their food packaging.

Champions of sustainable retailing and hospitality, Green Street, have launched a new pilot scheme, ‘Borrow’, with the help of Bradford cafés and restaurants in a bid to make the city more sustainable.

Borrow sees participating businesses lend customers reusable takeaway food and beverage packaging for a returnable deposit of 50p to £1.

Customers receive an immediate discount on the food and drink they buy through the Borrow scheme.

On their return, the cups and boxes are commercially cleaned ready to be re-used and customers are rewarded with not only their deposit back but also with exclusive rewards and the satisfaction of knowing they are helping reduce the unsustainable need for single-use plastics.

Restaurants such as MyLahore in Bradford, Java Joe, Smorgasbord and Café Sunflower are all part of the pilot project.

In the UK alone, 58 million items of food and drink are sold in single-use plastic every week for reasons of convenience, but each has an average life usage of just 15 minutes before being thrown out.

These items are often difficult to recycle and Green Street has pledged to reduce this number in Bradford with the backing of the Hubbub and Starbucks’ ‘Bring It Back Fund'.

Bradford business leader and Retail Sector Council member Victoria Robertshaw has been instrumental in launching Green Street’s new plan of action.

She said: “I’m really excited to be launching Borrow; takeaway food and drink packaging is a real challenge - of the seven million disposable cups used every day in the UK only two per cent are in customers’ own reusable cups.

“We are aware of the financial challenges many people are facing at the moment too, and hope that by offering small incentives and discounts, people will try the greener options as it will also save them money as well as being better for the environment.”

The incentives Borrow customers can receive include cheaper food straight away when they place their order, discounts on their next order when they return the cups and takeaway packaging.

Borrow was successfully trialled for the first time at an Open Iftar held at Bradford Cathedral in March.

Director of MyLahore, Ishfaq Farooq, said “We’re proud to be the first restaurant business to take part in the Borrow scheme and are keen to trial reusable takeaway packaging at our Bradford delivery store.

“We’re thrilled to be able to work with Borrow to offer our customers greener choices that are kinder to the planet as well as the wallet.”