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Designed to tackle ‘plate waste’ – customer leftovers at the end of a meal in restaurants – Scotland’s ‘Good to Go’ doggy bag scheme is gaining popularity among the restaurants. Since April 2017, the number of Scottish hospitality businesses taking part in the scheme has surged by over 100%; resulting in 42,000 Good to Go boxes going into circulation. ACR+ member Zero Waste Scotland provides participating businesses with a starter-pack containing 300 boxes, bags and communication materials as well as guidance on how to take part.
For the businesses taking part, this means savings. Currently one in every six meals served by restaurants is thrown away, costing the Scottish hospitality industry 64 million pounds annually. For consumers, it’s about changing attitudes towards leftovers. Zero Waste Scotland research has shown that two fifths of Scots are currently too embarrassed to ask for a doggy bag – but three quarters said they would welcome the option of taking a doggy bag home.
During the Good to Go pilot, plate waste was reduced by an average of 42% per participating restaurant. Around half of this reduction was due to diners taking food home with further reductions achieved through other measures such as adjusting portion sizes and checking if diners actually wanted sides of chips and vegetables.  
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