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Food Waste – A Hot Topic

Food waste has been on the agenda quite a bit so far this year and with Tesco openly publishing their data on food waste and pledging to actively work towards reducing this waste, the heat is now on for other businesses to follow suit and reduce the amount of food that they too are wasting.

Tesco revealed that the company wasted 1% of their food produce over the previous year, which may not sound like much, but to put things into perspective, that 1% amounted to an incredible 55,400 tonnes of food waste. What is more, 30,000 tonnes of this waste was perfectly fit for human consumption.

The First Priority Is To Reduce Food Waste

Having collaborated with several different companies over the past few years, looking at different options to effectively reduce their food waste, the latest trial that Tesco are focusing on at the moment uses an app to match food that has passed its use by date with local charities that are able to put the food to good use.

In an ideal world, this waste would not be an issue and in some circumstances, by making efforts to reduce waste in the first place through changing the way the business operates, some of this waste can be reduced.

The remaining waste should be put to good use if possible, following in the footsteps of Tesco’s most recent trial. Then, any remaining waste that is not fit for human consumption should be recycled responsibly.

Imagine Sending One Billion Plates Full Of Food To Landfill Each Year

The hospitality industry in the UK produces in excess of 500,000 tonnes of food waste in an average year. To help you visualise, this is the equivalent of a billion meals worth of food. When sent to landfill, this biodegradable waste, (which could easily be recycled instead), quickly begins to biodegrade, releasing methane gas into the atmosphere and causing harm to the environment.

If all businesses in this sector played their part in reducing this damage, by separating and recycling their food waste rather than sending it to landfill, the benefit to the environment would be hugely significant.

Food waste that is not fit for the table can be composted, or processed, turning the solid waste into an energy source for heat and power, whilst the liquid nutrients are extracted for use as a liquid fertilizer.

Save Money By Recycling Your Food Waste

Recycling as much of your waste as possible can save businesses a great deal of money in the long term. With the cost of sending waste to landfill rising each year, any reduction in waste can equate to immediate savings, but through changing your usual practice and separating your food waste, you are also likely to notice other financial benefits…

The process of separating food waste from other types of waste materials often increases a company’s awareness of the types of the food items that are being thrown away most frequently. This in turn can prompt positive changes that lead to less waste and cost savings.

Taking A More Sustainable Approach To Waste Is A Great Marketing Opportunity

Once you have implemented changes to your waste management strategy and developed a more sustainable business model, why not tell your customers and clients about your environmental efforts and use it as a great marketing opportunity.

Globally people are becoming far more passionate and aware of environmental issues in general and you are likely to find that any green initiatives you are working on generate new interest in your business through the positive PR.

Setting The Wheels In Motion

With your staff are used to separating food waste and putting it in the appropriate bins, just as they would with any other material to be recycled, you will find that despite any scepticism you may have had at the start, it is no more time consuming than the process you were following before.

Reducing waste in the first instance will of course benefit your bottom line instantly, but the way you choose to manage your food waste will also benefit the environment and help your business to save money. All in all, two incredibly worthwhile goals to strive towards.

Phoenix Compactors & Balers

Did you know that over 94% of customer requests we receive are dealt with on the same day as the call or email came through? We know how to look after our customers and their waste management. If you need assistance with a Phoenix built machine then our engineers can help in no time at all. Find out more about this on our service and maintenance page of our website.