Plastic Waste

Plastic Waste

Should food venues take more responsibility for reducing it?

At The Crafty Indian, we believe the answer to that is a resounding “yes.”

Plastic items from takeaway food and drink dominate the litter in the world’s oceans, according to recent scientific studies. Single-use bags, plastic bottles, food containers and food wrappers were found to be the four most widespread items polluting the seas, making up almost half of the human-made waste.

That’s why we’re on a mission to do our bit. By introducing stainless steel tiffins for our takeaways, we’ve already managed to prevent 20,000 containers and 4,000 plastic bags a year from blighting the environment. That’s around 50,000 pieces of single-use plastic kept out of landfill since we introduced the scheme just over two years ago.

We’re known for doing things differently and we decided we didn’t want to continue polluting the planet with plastic by using takeaway containers and bags. We’re proud to now be leading the way on this crucial issue, but our next quest is to increase the impact by encouraging not just more of our customers, but also as many other food venues as possible, to get involved.

So far we’ve sold around 550 tiffins and this number increases by around three to four each week, which means our plastic use is reducing weekly at that rate. Even based on these early numbers, if you multiply it over ten years, just look how much less plastic will go into landfill from our venue alone.

If all takeaways and restaurants in Bradford followed suit, imagine the amount of plastic that would no longer go to landfill. Then multiply that by the venues up and down the country and its clear how big this could get.

The Crafty Indian is a family business with Punjabi heritage – and our owner Harry Khinda got the inspiration from his Dad’s decades-old tiffin, which he brought over with him when his family settled in the UK during the 1960s. Dad Gian Singh carried on using the tiffin to carry his lunch to work at the Hepworth and Grandage factory in Bradford, back in the day.

The Crafty crew had a good old think as to how we could reduce our use of plastic and this led us on a journey back in history and we realised that the answer was staring us in the face. Indians have been using steel tiffins to carry their food around with them at work in the mills, farms, factories and offices for generations.

The reusable tiffins, mostly sourced from India, are three-tiered, with room for a number of meals or courses and have a carry handle, which means there’s no need for a plastic bag either. They keep the food hot until you get it home, which usually means there’s no need for reheating.

So how does it all work? Well, you initially buy your tiffin from the venue for £18.00 but then, each time you use it to collect a takeaway, you get 10% discount on your meal – so it very soon pays for itself and, eventually, you’ll find yourself in credit.

About a quarter of our regulars are now using tiffins, but this is still a journey we’re on. We’re making great progress and eventually we’d like all our takeaways to be served in this way so we can become fully sustainable.

So many people buy into the whole idea because they’re keen to do their bit to save the planet, especially young people who are learning to be more and more eco-friendly and feel it’s all about the small changes everyone can make.

If you want to go plastic free when you order takeaway food from us, please do consider joining the plastic-free tiffin team – just let us know when you place your order and we’ll be delighted to get you started.

Or, if you want to find out more about the tiffins and get involved in the campaign against plastic waste you can contact Harry at The Crafty Indian. Call 01274 588 114 or email

Restaurant steps up to the plate to help India’s “Railway Children”

The Crafty Indian restaurant in Shipley is launching a fund-raising campaign to help ease the plight of India’s street children.

Restaurant owner Harry Khinda has signed up to become a charity partner for Railway Children – a voluntary organisation which provides protection and shelter for  thousands of children forced to live on the streets, through poverty, abuse, violence and neglect.

Over the coming months, he will be organising various fund-raising events and activities to support the charity.

To kick off the campaign, the craft beer and Indian street food venue, on Bradford Road, will be asking for a discretionary £1 contribution from each customer on top of their bill. It’s hoped that this will raise around £100 a week and more than £5,000 over the course of the year, rising gradually as the easing of Covid restrictions allows more diners into the premises. The Crafty Indian will then top up the total with its own weekly donation. Any customers who don’t wish to donate will be given the choice to opt out.

Harry has witnessed first-hand the suffering and deprivation of India’s street children during visits to relatives in New Delhi.

He said. “I’ve seen with my own eyes the lives these children are forced to live – or should I say “exist”. The future is bleak, with no food or decent clothes, no education and often no parents around to look out for them. This leaves them very vulnerable and at risk from all kinds of dangers.

“For all of India’s advancements in recent decades, it’s still a very poor nation, where the rich look after themselves and the poor don’t stand a chance. As I’m in a position to do something about it, I feel that now, more than ever, is the time to take action. As a street food venue, there’s a sort of synergy to supporting a charity that feeds children living on the streets.

“I’ve chosen a smaller charity with lower overheads, so I can be confident that the money quickly gets to the streets to start working, with more of our donations going directly to the cause.”

Railway Children’s Corporate Partnerships Manager Mary McLaughlin said: “We’re delighted to welcome The Crafty Indian on board as a charity partner. Thanks to our corporate partners and the generosity of their customers, we were able to reach and protect 15,822 vulnerable children last year. Each £1 donated goes a long way in the developing world so, for example, 89p would pay for a day’s nutritious meals for one child staying in a Railway Children Shelter.


“Over 11 million children live on the streets of India, running away from abuse, violence and poverty. Thousands use the extensive railway network to get to the cities, where they hope to find a better life. They arrive at the vast, chaotic railway stations only to find themselves lost, alone and scared, with no idea where to go or what to do. Their dreams brutally shattered, they end up living on the platforms. Our outreach workers spend time with children, gaining their trust and providing a safe place to stay while we work out the best long-term solution for their individual circumstances.

“Over the past 18 months, as the COVID-19 pandemic has unfolded and India has been particularly impacted, our work has evolved to adapt to the changing needs of the vulnerable community we exist to support. We’re now using some of the donations received to deliver monthly emergency food and essentials hampers to families of children we have previously reunited, who are now on the brink of survival, having lost all means of income.”

For further information about the Railway Children charity please visit:

For further information about the Crafty Indian Restaurant please visit: