Home / Business / A take-away in Bristol working to reduce single-use plastic has won a national industry award.

A take-away in Bristol working to reduce single-use plastic has won a national industry award.

Rajastan Royal, in Downend, has been named Takeaway of the Year in the South West region for the second year running in the annual Asian Curry Awards.

The awards, sponsored by Just Eat, celebrates innovative vision and exceptional food.

Naseem Talukdar is marketing manager at Rajastan Royal and founder of Plastic Pollution Awareness and Action Projects (PPAAP), a charity set up to find alternatives to single-use plastic – starting in the food industry.

He said: “We are delighted to receive such recognition and are grateful to everyone who supported us.”

Reducing single-use plastic

The team at the takeaway in Westbourne Road have worked to reduce waste and plastic, as well as increase vegan options.

It includes adding the option to only order extras if wanted, introducing biodegradable carrier bags and offering more plant-based choices.

Naseem, who has also received a High Sheriff’s Award from the Lord-Lieutenant Bristol in recognition of his contribution to the city, said: “We want to play our part in protecting the planet. We still have a lot of work to do, but it’s in motion.”


Organised by the Asian Catering Federation, the awards cover a range of national cuisines, including Chinese, Bangladeshi, Indian, Thai and Middle Eastern.

Hundreds of businesses across the country took part and the winners were announced during a ceremony at Grosvenor House in London’s Mayfair, hosted by BBC TV presenter Kate Silverton.

Naseem, who lives in Fishponds and is director for social responsibility and sustainability for campaign group UK Curry Connect (UKCC), said the award was good for morale.

He said: “It’s a great boost to receive such an award and we couldn’t have done it without the support from our customers and friends in the community.”

Supporting the community and facing challenges

UK Curry Connect (UKCC) is a campaign group which has been set up to raise awareness of skills shortages in the Asian catering industry.

Naseem said the industry faced challenges, particularly since the pandemic, and had to find ways to be sustainable.

Yawar Khan, Chairman of the Asian Catering Federation, spoke of the sector’s resilience but predicted, with rising costs and staff shortages, “The days of the cheap Friday night curry are coming to an end.”

But he added: There is no shortage of customers willing to pay for a superior product.”

Khan also acknowledged the generosity those who donated thousands of takeaways to frontline workers and the vulnerable.

The team at Rajastan, working with UKCC, were part of the Food 4 NHS project – delivering free hot meals during lockdown.

Celebrating achievements

Andrew Kenny is managing director of Just Eat UK, which has worked closely with the federation.

He said: “As we begin to recover from the pandemic, I’m delighted to celebrate our partnership by helping to recognise the fantastic achievements of those in our industry who have worked tirelessly through the last 18 months and continue to do so.”

The awards are sponsored by Just Eat and the ceremony is also supported by British food wholesale operator Booker Wholesale.