• Susan

Celebrated chef Michael Caines takes plastic gift cards off the menu


One of Britain’s best known chefs Michael Caines MBE has added to his business sustainability efforts by introducing plastic free gift cards across the Michael Caines Collection of restaurants.


A familiar face on television, with appearances on BBC’s Saturday Kitchen, Great British Menu and MasterChef, Michael is committed to sustainability across his expanding collection of venues.


This latest initiative sees the business working with eco friendly card producer Green Gift Cards, to introduce durable paperboard cards at the Michelin starred Lympstone Manor in Devon as well as Cornish restaurants The Cove at Maenporth, The Harbourside Refuge in Porthleven and the newly opened Mickeys Beach Bar and restaurant in Exmouth, Devon.



With gift card sales increasing throughout the pandemic as a means for people to support hospitality businesses and look forward to future unrestricted dining experiences, the group was keen that its cards should fit within its environmentally conscious operation. Speaking about Green Gift Cards, the Michael Caines Collection’s Group sales and marketing manager Pippa Whiteley said: ‘Alongside all our environmentally conscious decisions, it was important that the gift cards chosen for the group did not compromise the ethos and brand value of protecting our environment and so choosing a plastic free solution that also didn’t compromise both the guest experience and efficiency for the staff was important.


‘The ability to use the magnetic swipe option on a plastic free card just symbolises how both technology and green credentials can work together in harmony. Our gift cards could be sent across the country or the globe so having the plastic free accreditation meant that the consumer could see the efforts we make and feel confident in their purchase that it has not contributed to unnecessary plastic waste.


‘The plastic free accreditation is just a small element of this product. The work that both Green Gift Cards and paperboard manufacturer Holmen Iggesund do together behind the scenes also gives us added confidence in knowing that sourcing a niche product doesn’t contribute further to carbon footprint due to the carbon off setting work they do through renewable energy and sustainably managed eco cycle forestry.’


Graham Lycett, managing director of Green Gift Cards, explained that plastic free gift cards do not mean a loss of durability for the end user: ‘The new gift cards were produced by our team at Green Gift Cards using Iggesund’s Invercote paperboard. As Invercote is a high quality paperboard it is used by several prestigious brands for packaging due to its strength and robustness. The board we use is a little thicker than plastic cards and less water absorbent than other paperboards, making it perfect for the Michael Caines Collection new range of eco friendly gift cards.’


Michael Caines has long been associated with his work to champion and support the sustainability benefits of working with local producers. Across the entire Michael Caines collection and throughout his career, Michael’s menus each change with the season, reflecting the availability of the highest quality produce and thus supporting a wide array of local producers, farmers and fishermen and in turn the wider local communities and economy.


This approach also supports the biodiversity of the natural landscape, protecting heritage ingredients and sustainably farmed and fished produce whilst reducing food miles and carbon footprint.


Michael’s recipes also work towards reducing food waste through carcass balance, utilising lesser known cuts of meat and using waste of the carcass from meat or fish to create base ingredients such as stocks and sauces.

With such a strong sustainability ethos surrounding Michael’s cuisine, each property within the collection actively works to reduce its impact on the environment working with our local refuse and recycling centres and choosing products and services that share the same ethos and goals. Takeaway packaging is all biodegradable even down to the ice cream scoops at the Café! Lympstone Manor has removed all plastic toiletries for biodegradable amenities and refillable aluminium hair and body wash products.