POPULAR promenade takeaway O’Shea’s Cafe is taking a stand against the damage caused by littering on Whitmore Bay with the introduction of new ethical, environmentally friendly packaging, as of this weekend.

The 70-year-old chip shop is replacing the current polystyrene food containers seen in most takeaways, with fully recyclable, biodegradable cardboard packaging, following a successful trial period earlier this summer.

O’Shea’s becomes the first of the Island promenade’s fish and chip restaurants to make the environmentally friendly move, and owner Craig O’Shea hopes that as well as being a good ethical decision, it will also benefit his business in the long term.

“It’s the way forward,” he said.

“Litter on our beaches and in our oceans is becoming a major, major problem.

“We’re right on the beach. We see it every night in the summer. That beach is just lit up with polystyrene cartons, so although its not our fault directly, we’ve got to take some responsibility.

“As I started looking into the problem I began to realise how major it was for our seas, and for our fishing industry – and we sell fish.

“It just made ethical sense, we’ve got to start changing.”

Littering along Whitmore Bay in peak summer has been a well publicised issue over the past couple of years, with the Vale of Glamorgan council introducing environmental enforcement officers with the power to issue on the spot fines last year.

And whilst O’Shea’s change in packaging is unlikely to deter would-be litterers, it should help to reduce the environmental impact any rubbish may have.

Mr O’Shea also pointed out the aesthetic benefits of the new product, which he says went down well with customers during the trial.

“The feedback was really encouraging. From a moral, ethical side of it, people liked that, but just from the serving point of view, the majority of people have said they’re really nice. They’re a nice product to eat out of, which can only be good for us.”

But whilst the new packaging may be the obvious ethical choice, Mr O’Shea had to weigh up the business impact before making the move.

“The only problem was the cost, which is nearly five times as much. That’s a huge, huge difference with the volumes that we sell.

“It’s going to have an impact on us, so that was the dilemma really, as a business. I’m hoping that people will embrace what we’ve done and it might bring more custom, but ultimately it’s the right thing to do,” he said.