5 Tips for Improving Your Environmental Credentials
Whether it’s coffee cups, straws or plastic bottles, single-use plastic consumption is widespread in the hospitality industry – mainly down to rising consumer demand for convenience. In addition, according to the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP), two million tonnes of food waste is generated by the UK’s hospitality sector annually.
With increased awareness around the devastating impact of single-use plastics and with sustainability being one of the most pressing issues currently facing the world, hospitality businesses are understandably under pressure to be seen to be taking action.
Sustainability can no longer be disregarded as just a buzzword or a fleeting trend; operators must play their part through implementing positive changes that improve their environmental credentials and demonstrate their social responsibility:
- Become a refill station
Launched earlier this year, Refill is a national drinking water scheme which aims to encourage more consumers to switch from single-use plastic bottles to tap water by making it easier for them to fill up for free. Businesses with a publicly accessible tap can sign up as a refill station and in turn, get a profile on the free-to-download Refill app – as well as benefit from increased footfall.
- Say no to plastic
It is estimated that there are more than 150 million tonnes of plastic in the world’s oceans and as such, the EU has proposed a flat-out ban on single-use plastics such as straws, cutlery and drinks stirrers by 2021. Hospitality businesses can look to reduce their plastic usage by opting for compostable takeaway cartons, straws and stirrers made from biodegradable material, ditching cling film, and incentivising customers who bring their own reusable coffee mug rather than a disposable cup.
- Monitor food waste
A study by WRAP revealed that for every meal eaten in a UK restaurant, nearly half a kilo of food is wasted through preparation, spoilage and what’s left on diners’ plates. Operators can improve efforts to tackle food waste through reducing portion size, slimming down their menus or improving planning, as well as composting and donating surplus food to charities that specialise in this area.
- Up your recycling game
Recycling has become part of our everyday lives, but it’s estimated that only around 40% of the total waste produced by the hospitality industry is currently recycled. As well as making sure your business is recycling glass bottles, jars, cardboard, plastic bottles and cans, consider using suppliers who will take their packaging with them, and if budgets allow – look into hiring a green waste management company. To encourage buy-in and embed the right behaviours, it’s also vital to get members of staff on board and help them understand the reason behind your recycling procedures.
- Review your supply chain
Your business may be environmentally conscious but what about your suppliers? By working with suppliers who adopt similar sustainability practices, you can feel reassured that you’re reducing your overall footprint. Consider including sustainability-led questions in your procurement process, work with local producers to reduce food miles and make sure where possible that the products you purchase are made from recycled material and come with minimal or sustainable packaging.
For more tips on reducing plastic waste, read https://epos.casio.co.uk/epos-whats-new/why-your-business-needs-to-act-on-plastic.