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We discuss the latest in tackling Food Waste from within the Catering & Hospitality industry and simple steps you can follow to reducing your Carbon Footprint

The UK restaurant industry is worth in excess of £38 billion. With over 86,000 restaurants in the sector, 1.7 million Brits are said to eat out at least once a week spending an average of around £18.

Along with veganism, sustainability and technology, people's tastes and preferences are changing. Now more than ever, the industry is having to adapt to changing consumer habits.

Across the world we are in a frenzy when it comes to waste, whether that is food, packaging, energy or water. We are coming up with new and productive solutions to cut down on waste that we are producing, this means businesses are reducing wherever possible to keep up with sustainability demands.

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Food and Packaging Waste

The UK wastes 920,000 tonnes of food each year in Restaurants, Pubs, Hotels and quick service restaurants alone. A study showed that ¾ of the food wasted was still edible for human consumption, the amount of food waste costs the food service and hospitality sector £2.5bn a year. To add to these figures only 62% of packaging is recycled from the food that is being used. Which means the remaining 38% is going to landfill, many businesses will be looking to improve on their recycling habits or altogether finding a substitute that is more sustainable and reducing single use plastic. These staggering figures show us how much change needs to be put into place to ensure food and packaging wastage is cut drastically. To control food and packaging wastage there are many amendments that can be made to businesses current management system.

These steps can be:

Avoid over-buying stock. Buying in bulk can be risky as a business cannot fully determine if they will use all that produce; therefore, it is then the likelihood that the stock will get thrown away. This is then a contributing factor to the amount of food that goes to wastage.

Keeping a stock inventory. Maintaining a detailed list of foods that are in storage to avoid the risk of businesses forgetting them, this will then ensure that the business uses certain food before it passes the use-by date. Resulting in less waste of food that could’ve been used. For example, vegetable peelings and animal bones can be used to make stocks and soups, while day-old bread can be made into croutons or breadcrumbs.

Locally Sourced Produce. By swapping to a supplier more local then the use of plastic will reduce, this means fresh produce can be transported without having to be packaged in plastic to keep it fresh. The freshness will be maintained as the food miles are cut.

RECYCLE. Recycle packaging in the correct way instead of discarding in the food waste bin, this is one way that foodservice businesses can do their part. This will help contribute to the 38% that is not being recycled when it can be, if substituting to more sustainable packaging isn’t doable then recycling the correct materials is ensuring that packaging waste is going to the right place.

2018 Craft Guild of Chefs Innovation Award Winner, Doug McMaster was rewarded for his 100% zero waste restaurant.Silo trade directly with farmers, using local ingredients to make sure that no waste is generated. Silo also turn all restaurant scraps and trimmings into a compost used to produce more food, they pride themselves in always having the bin in mind. This is a prime example that all the foodservice industry can incorporate zero waste within their businesses, by still producing natural and sustainable food.

Energy and Water Waste

Research shows that commercial kitchens use ten times more energy than your average commercial building, kitchens are wasting a substantial amount of energy a day and to become more sustainable a lot of businesses in the foodservice industry are working on becoming more energy efficient. In the UK across the foodservice industry a total of 20,600 million kwh gets used every year. The foodservice industry are using two thirds of available water, the consumption of water has risen by 1% in the last decadeas researched by The United Nations. Energy and water are huge cost factors, the food service industry is eager to find a way to deal with water in an environmentally sustainable and cost manner.

Becoming more energy and water efficient would benefit commercial businesses incredibly, it would cut costs on both being wasted and can lead to a business becoming more reputable. To become more energy and water efficient these are the steps that can be taken:

Use rainwater. This water can be used to flush toilets and for cleaning, this means fresh water won’t be needed and water consumption will be from a natural source that doesn’t harm the environment.

Use modern technology. By choosing commercial dishwashers means businesses can use half the water of a domestic dishwater. Also equipping wash basins with sensors will reduce the water consumption, this being water is only allowed to flow if it can sense hands.

Reduce the temperature. By reducing the temperature in the building, it can reduce the businesses bill by 10%, this is the main area where energy gets wasted. Costs get cut and energy that isn’t needed isn’t being wasted.

Understand storage temperatures. Refrigerators are always going to be needed in commercial kitchens, but by understanding what temperatures specific foods need to be on then businesses are reducing energy usage by having refrigerator on the correct temperature for that food.

Look out for more catering trends on our blog over the next coming weeks, providing tips on how to improve your commercial business.

Check out another blog of ours on how to creatively deal with food waste, you can find this here

We'd love to hear your thoughts via our social media channels @bunzllockhart on Twitter and Instagram and on Facebook.


Lockhart Catering on 10 February 2020 10:00 AM

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