Reducing plastics: resources for food businesses
Tackling society’s throwaway, excessive or unnecessary plastics has been a priority for many food businesses recently, and rightly so. We held an event for food businesses to share best practice from local and national organisations leading the way on this issue. The European Parliament has approved a new law banning single-use plastic items such as plates, cutlery, straws and stirrers which will be phased out across the EU by 2021.
There are a few key things that most businesses can do to make a significant difference by following the waste mantra: remove and reduce, promote reuse, and recycle.
Prioritise refill and reuse
- Brighton & Hove is a city that welcomes BYO (bags, cutlery, lunchbox, water bottle, coffee cups, etc). There are lots of great BYO initiatives to sign up to including Brighton & Hove Refill and Long Live the Lunchbox.
- Establish a reusable cup scheme, like University of Brighton or Brighton & Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust.
- Many events, festivals and venues have invested in branded refillable cups from using a deposit return scheme model such as Green Goblet.
- Can you ditch disposables? If not, clear up any confusion before investing in them. ‘Compostable’ packaging does not mean you can compost the material at home and ‘biodegradable’ products can still take years to break down completely. City To Sea have produced an ‘explainer’ video to help people understand the problems with bioplastics. These really useful guides from Sustainable Restaurant Association, Surfers Against Sewage and the Raw Foundation will help you make the right choices for your business or event.
Get recycling right
- If you’ve invested in disposables made of bio-plastic, talk to your waste management supplier about separating and disposing of them effectively – putting them in with your mixed waste stream is not the right place.
- Join a scheme to recycle any disposable coffee cups, for example Cup Neutral, Paper Round or Simply Cups.
Share what you’re doing
- Sign up to the Plastic Free Pledge.
- Develop a plastic-free policy like Brighton & Hove City Council and Southern Water and share this with your staff and customers.
- Share any actions you’ve taken on social media using #goldfoodcitybid and tag in @btnhovefood. Find out more about our Gold Food City Bid.