one bowl at a time

hello new bowls

between now + October, every wagamama across the uk will begin serving up bowls of goodness in our new, more sustainable packaging. now made using mostly recycled materials + card

our new packaging range replaces up to 330 tonnes of virgin plastic every year. that's equivalent to 8.1 million bowls. across our menu, we’ve seen a 33% reduction in carbon footprint with our guest favourite – the legendary katsu curry – now 62% less carbon intensive

(+ of course, everything can be recycled)

small choices for big change

after 4 years, countless setbacks, good meetings, bad meetings + conversations with waste managers, product designers, environmental bodies + suppliers, our new packaging was formed

kaizen is our guiding japanese philosophy, meaning continual improvement + it’s the kaizen mentality that kept pushing us forward

what have we learnt? the climate crisis is complex but the answer is simple: progress over perfection

the challenge

maintaining quality + improving sustainability were our two guiding factors throughout this project

we first looked at the pinch points of our current packaging such as lids tight enough to secure steaming broths + a solution to keep crispy squid extra crispy

but the greatest challenge was decoding waste disposal in the uk

there are over 300 different waste streams in the uk + a lot of uk household waste is either exported or incinerated which is why we chose to focus on the upstream journey of packaging

'upstream' is everything that goes into the production of the product before it gets to you, including the extraction of natural resources, manufacturing + transportation


but this didn't come without it's challenges

after auditing every material available + weighing up the pros + cons with experts, we opted for plastic made from 70% recycled materials

as one of the first in the industry, we naively thought we'd be able to make the full structure from recycled materials but after some explosive tests, we realised we would need a stronger lid material to reach our target launch date

the interim compromise we settled on was a lid made from recyclable virgin plastic

the journey certainly does not finish there. in the spirit of kaizen, we are working closely with our suppliers to get to a lid made from the same materials as our bases as soon as possible

we want our bowls back

as our new packaging rolls out between now + October, so does bowl bank - our bowl return initiative. in exchange for your clean take-out bowls, we'll give you a side on us, next time you dine in