A new report finds a compelling business case for preventing food waste in the catering industry, with analysis indicating 64% had recouped their investment in the first year. Of 86 sites across six countries evaluated, food waste was reduced by 36% on average in the space of twelve months.
The cost of food being wasted in the UK from the supply chain (retail, manufacture, hospitality and food service) is estimated at just over three million tonnes. This has a detrimental impact both on a business’s operational costs and on the environment too.
The hospitality and food service (HaFS) sector is working hard to help achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal: to halve global food waste by 2030. In the UK, many organisations across the food system, from producer to consumer, have signed up to Courtauld 2025, a voluntary agreement to make food and drink production and consumption more sustainable.
Research from WRAP indicates that, on average, 21% of food waste in the HaFS sector arises from spoilage; 45% from food preparation; and 34% from customer plates. Practical steps that catering establishments can take to reduce waste includes investment in measuring technology, staff training, redesigning menus and enabling customers to take uneaten food home.
When food is wasted, we are not only throwing away good food, we are wasting the resources and energy that are used to grow, harvest, process, and transport through the supply chain all the way to the consumer, along with the associated emissions. Studies have shown that GHG emissions associated with a steak purchase from a supermarket are 7500g for the steak, and just 80g for the packaging.
To avoid contamination of materials and help improve recycling rates, restaurants, hotels, pubs, cafés and takeaways also need to have an effective waste segregation policy to separate out their food waste for recycling. In Scotland, regulation is already in place that requires non-rural businesses producing more than 5kg of food waste per week to segregate the material separately for collection under 2016 updates to the Waste (Scotland) Regulations 2012. All Welsh Councils offer separate food waste collections to help consumers recycle more.
Here at Cromwell Polythene we help a range of catering outlets facilities to manage and improve their food recycling collections, including a range of compostable caddy liners in a range of sizes.
Manufactured from starch and lactide acid-based derivatives of plant sources, our caddy liners meet the stringent criteria of the European composting standard, EN13432, which requires more than 90% of the plastic mass to be converted into biomass, CO2 and water, without harmful residue. These bags are made from Ecopond® biodegradable resin – for which Cromwell Polythene is the sole distributor among local authorities and the recycling and waste management sector in England and Wales. Our food waste liners come in either compostable or Anaerobic Digestion (AD) friendly bags. The food liners can be conveniently removed with depacking equipment at the front end of AD plants.
Our wide range of refuse sacks, made from recycled polythene, come in black, clear and a range of colours to aid the segregation of waste materials. Our LowCO2 t™ range – including disposable gloves, aprons, laundry bags, refuse sacks and bin liners – is a lighter, cost effective, resource-efficient range.
Taking robust steps to prevent food waste offers the HaFS sector a real opportunity to make financial and environmental savings, whilst providing the best possible service to their customers.