“Bring your own plate,” might not be what you expect to hear from any decent restaurant but if you head for Urban Retreat in Abu Dhabi’s Yas Mall between now and the end of August, you might want to do just that.
The venue, which opened in June and is home to 12 different food vendors, has launched a very cool green initiative that rewards patrons who bring their own plates, cups, flasks or other containers with a 20 per cent discount from their bills at each eatery.
At the moment vendors at Urban Retreat include Sukkar Dose, Joe’s Sliders, Tawa Bakery, Casa Latina, Chez Moe, Piddza, Casa de Churros, Firefly Burger, Hue Pasta, Fatteh O’Salata and Off the Hook, and vegetarians and vegans are catered for, too. The UAE’s status as one of the world’s worst plastic polluters is now being tackled by authorities and businesses alike, and Urban Retreat’s pledge to reduce waste packaging materials for food and drinks is indicative of the drive to rid our environment of plastic waste, particularly the single-use variety.
Abu Dhabi has very publicly declared war on plastic waste in recent months, with high profile recycling stations appearing at key locations around the city. The supermarket chain Waitrose conducted its first trial in charging for plastic shopping bags in the capital, while the new Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island Resort, which is set to open in November, is to incorporate an in-house water plant with strategically placed stations for guests to fill reusable bottles with. The venue will not be selling plastic bottles of water, nor will it be supplying guests with plastic drinking straws.
Plastic straws and bottles are also now off the menu at Hilton’s Abu Dhabi hotels, as well as Park Hyatt, The British Club near Mina Port, health food restaurant Skinny Genie and restaurant chains Royal Orchid, The Noodle House, Freedom Pizza and Pizza Express.