Voluntary agreement seeks to decrease hospitality waste

Minimising food waste whilst catering for a family can be a challenge, but what about whilst feeding an entire restaurant (or indeed hotel)? Chris Mackenzie dishes up the information on the hospitality industry’s peelings, plate scrapings and leftovers. Case studies served by Sophie Butler

Food, glorious food. The problem is, we are still wasting far too much of it, even when we don’t prepare it ourselves. A new voluntary agreement to help combat avoidable waste in the hospitality sector is being implemented following a report published last year by WRAP.

The report, on the composition and volume of rubbish generated by the industry, concluded that hospitality outfits produce 400,000 tonnes of avoidable food waste every year, the prevention of which could save in excess of £722 million. For each pub, restaurant, hotel and quick service restaurant (QSR) in the UK, that equates to an average potential saving of £1,800 on avoided food purchasing and disposal costs, on top of the reduced use of landfill and waste disposal services.

Government waste policy has tended to focus on domestic and municipal rubbish, but the waste thrown away by each household – around six kilogrammes (kg) per week – is dwarfed by the quantities some hospitality businesses are binning on a daily basis.