Could your business recycle more food waste?

Could your business recycle more food waste?

Could your business recycle more food waste?

There has been a big focus on recycling over recent decades, with homes and businesses across the UK and around the world being informed of the environmental drawbacks of sending our rubbish to landfill sites when it could be reused.

We all know that materials like paper, cardboard and almost all metals can be recycled and most companies are now comfortably in the habit of placing these items in a recycling bin.

Some organisations are going as far as to try to eliminate paper use altogether, with online communication and digital services making paper redundant in many situations.

One area where awareness and levels of action are not quite as high is food recycling.

If your business has set itself the target of improving efficiency and sustainability, cutting down on food waste is an area where you might be able to make some real progress.

This is the focus of a new action plan launched by waste campaign group Wrap, in partnership with various local authorities, waste treatment operators, private sector refuse collectors and industry bodies.

The aim of this project - which is the first of its kind in England - is to increase levels of food waste recycling by businesses and homes through increased collaboration across the recycling supply chain.

Launching the initiative, Wrap pointed out that some ten million tonnes of food is wasted across the UK every year, 40 per cent of which is unavoidable. Less than a fifth (1.8 million tonnes) of this unused food is recycled.

Increasing food recycling can deliver a number of environmental benefits, such as maximising composting capacity to produce energy and renewable fertilisers.

It would also cut down on the 20 million tonnes of carbon that is produced every year by food waste.

Rory Stewart, resources minister at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, said the amount of food that is thrown out in Britain every year is "staggering".

"Not all of this food waste can be prevented or redistributed and this is where the food waste recycling sector has an important role to play in reducing the amount that goes to landfill," he continued.

"The growth of food waste recycling in the UK is a real success story, but more can be done. I welcome the action plan, showing how by working together, industry, government, businesses and local authorities can drive up the amount of unavoidable, inedible food waste that is recycled, helping our environment and boosting our economy."

Introducing incentives and educating employees on the importance of recycling food waste are among the many measures businesses can take to enhance their sustainability and reduce their impact on the environment.

Adopting efficient practices regarding electricity consumption and heating can also deliver some real benefits, along with making every effort to ensure you work with outside companies and third-party suppliers whose green policies reflect your own.


Posted by Aston Hemmings - Chairman of The Green Group (A BE Group Initiative)

Image courtesy of iStock/Pixavril