While the world is still in shambles to find sustainable, reusable packaging for food products, The BrickOven Café based in the province of Laguna, Philippines is going back to the basics by using pandan leaves instead of cardboard boxes for their pizzas.
Pandan leaves are not only abundant in Southeast Asia, but they’re also completely natural, biodegradable and reusable. By using tampipi boxes, it’s also bringing the local weaving industry an extra source of income amidst the ongoing pandemic.
“The idea of using tampipi for our pizzas came when we were running out of carton boxes, and we needed to go to Manila to get supplies. Getting supplies to Manila will incur additional expenses and consume time, so we thought that we should find boxes near our area,” restaurant owner, Dennise Jocel E. Porca told Spot.ph.
Each tampipi box is handcrafted out of dried pandan leaves by local weavers and the cafe offers both round and square-shaped boxes in various different sizes to accommodate its wood-fired pizzas and other dishes which can be ordered for takeaway or dine-in.
After customers are done devouring their food, the tampipi boxes can be reused at the restaurant to receive a discount, or just used at home for storage or decoration. Multipurpose and eco-friendly!
Porca also said that prior to using pandan leaves, they experimented with buli, a natural rope made from palm tree to tie the pizza boxes together, minimizing plastic waste and making use of the abundant local materials.
As the coronavirus crisis continues, local communities are also experiencing economic hardships. The restaurant shared on Facebook a picture of one of their suppliers, a family based in Caviti, Laguna. The demand for their handwoven tampipi has not only helped create extra revenue but also a path for sustainable product designs.
“We were already inspired with how they work and especially how they unite to produce masterpieces. According to them, we were just right in time for their family in this pandemic.”