With so much attention recently on reducing our plastic and other unnecessary single-use packaging (#WarOnWaste), we wondered... what is the connection between packaging and food waste? Our recent research into how the hospitality sector deals with its massive quantities of food waste, has suggested that cutting down on plastic straws, drink cans, and single-use serving ware, can have a huge impact on how much of the (sadly inevitable) excess food at the end of an event is set aside for composting and diverted from landfill! How?
Well, imagine cleaning up after an event, a wedding or a buffet for a few hundred guests... exhausting right?! Now, imagine the time and effort it takes, after an already long shift, to separate the left over food from the plastic straws, drink cans, and throw-away containers... picking out the food with your hands, one by one... then placing the food in one bin to be composted, the cans and plastics in another to be recycled, and anything else, in the general waste (landfill) bin...
Our research has shown that under these kinds of circumstances, such packaging greatly decreases the likelihood that food scraps will be separated into the appropriate food scraps bin, and instead end up in the general waste bin - destined for landfill. While there may be occasional accidental contamination of items that cannot composted in a food scraps bin, under the rush of serving and cleaning a busy event, staff are more likely to dispose of wasted food in a general waste bin, than risk contaminating a food scraps bin with plastic or other non-compostable materials.
The solution? Simple. Lets reduce our single-use packaging... saving plastic waste and food waste at the same time! Happy composting!