Thursday, 29 April 2021
During the Covid-19 pandemic, single-use food packaging made a comeback with a surge in demand for food delivery, as well as concerns over hygiene and safety. From takeaway boxes and cups, to cutlery and plastic bags, sustainability was pushed down the list of global concerns as the industry prioritised feeding the nation while keeping consumers and employees safe.
Now, more than ever, sustainability is once again king.
Globally, humans use over 300 million tons of plastic each year and half of that sits with single-use items. The UK government has outlined a ban of all plastic cutlery due to come into force this year, which will certainly go some way to helping this global issue.
At Foodbuy, we’re ahead of the curve and are already working closely with our suppliers to replace plastic cutlery with wooden options. We are looking to adopt this trend before the ban takes effect so that we can ensure we have a robust supply chain and meet our customers’ demands in advance.
Did you know, 2.5 billion coffee cups are wasted every year in the UK.
Coffee cup collection and recycling services are one of the solutions available to tackle this.
The Deposit and Return Scheme will be coming into effect for Scotland in 2022. The scheme will apply to all single-use drink containers and would see customers pay more for drinks in the shops. Customers will then be able to claim the money back if they return their drinks containers to be recycled.
At Foodbuy, we’ve partnered with the UK’s only paper cup collection and recycling scheme, Simply Waste Solutions. The scheme collects, shreds and recycles our paper cups into new products like pens, pencils and notebooks. Not only does this reduce disposal costs, but also the amount of waste sent to landfill or incineration.
To help consumers enjoy takeaway food and drink without leaving a plastic footprint, some companies have set up eco-friendly schemes:
Black plastic, often used for items like microwave meal trays, is one of the most problematic forms of plastic. As black packaging cannot be detected by recycling sorters, it means they will go straight to the landfill.
An alternative colour plastic could tackle this problem. The trays themselves are made from a plastic known as CPET – Crystalline Polyethylene Terephthalate. CPET trays are easy to recycle as the material is easily detectable at recycling plants across the UK.
Every year millions of plastics end up in the ocean and in landfills. Packaging with Purpose is a new initiative that aims to tackle this issue.
With plastic legislation due to come into force later this year, there is a profound focus for businesses to move away from single use plastics and introduce more sustainable packaging.
At Foodbuy, our approach has always been to reduce, reuse and recycle single-use plastics across our food and drink supply chains. If this isn’t possible, we review how we can source alternative products that meet the requirement.
If you need help sourcing more recyclable packaging, please get in touch here.