The amount of food that is being thrown out is a problem we can no longer ignore. According to a study by the World Wildlife Fund, an estimated 1.3 billion tonnes of food is wasted globally, 40% of which comes from restaurants, schools and other food businesses. Given that there are around 14.5 million people in the UK who live in poverty, this is an unacceptable reality. When you consider that a recent study revealed that we produce enough food to wipe out global hunger, it is disturbing to learn that one third of that goes to waste. It is time to be part of the change!
Food inequity and climate change should stand at the forefront of businesses goals for the New Year. Reducing our food waste is more important now than ever. This article from SL Recycling will outline 8 simple steps you can take to reduce your food waste to help your business go green.
8 Tips to Reduce Food Waste
Measure Food Waste
By tracking food usage and waste, food industries such as restaurants and schools are still able to meet customer demands while heavily cutting back on production. Simple acts like checking your waste bins can provide valuable information about the size of the portions you are serving, and whether you are over-catering. Creating a food waste inventory is another great way to identify how much waste there is, providing the opportunity to implement changes to things like the menu if needs be. Monitoring your progress from here will help reduce food waste enormously.
Predict Food Orders
Although easier said than done, you can use predictive ordering technology that provides more accurate data along with a better understanding of your food order patterns. Ultimately, this gives you more control, resulting in less waste which equates to more savings!
Have A Plan for Excess Food
As long as the use by date isn’t overdue, make sure all the leftover ingredients are used up. You can get creative with this, using whatever might go to waste in a delicious lunch special.
Practice Good Stock Control
By ensuring that everyone who handles food within your business has been trained on proper ‘first in, first out’ inventory management techniques will help decrease your volume of waste. Clearly labelling foods with ‘best-before’ or ‘sell-by’ dates helps to clear out older food quickly and efficiently.
Invest and take the time to train and certify members of staff, as some of the most innovative ideas comes from the kitchen or the front-of-house staff. Providing them with an opportunity to put their ideas forward could be hugely beneficial when it comes to the reduction of food waste.
Keep An Eye on Overproduction
Batch preparation might save time and money, but recent studies show that cook-to-order preparation will save you more money in the long term.
A great way to be economical with your food scraps is by creating a compost. This is a great way to enrich soil in fruit, vegetable and herb gardens or as a natural fertiliser for landscaping. This could also save money while giving you that feel-good feeling of knowing you’ve done your part to help reduce your environmental impact.
There are loads of charities and great causes out there that would be more than happy to take the food that hasn’t been used off your hands. A great example of this is SL Recycing, a waste management company that aim to redistribute edible food waste to those in need. These include food banks, local farms and pet food producers. By training staff to label food with ‘serve before’ or ‘donate before’ dates, they can easily determine what can go in the bin and what can be saved and used later for donation.
How does food waste harm the environment?
Due to the fact that we are facing what is being called a ‘landfill capacity crisis’, we need to find an alternative solution for managing waste. This is because leaving our food scraps in a landfill allows it to decompose and produce methane, a greenhouse gas 25 times more powerful than carbon dioxide. It isn’t just the decomposition that poses a problem, but also the greenhouse gasses emitted at each stage of the supply chain from harvesting and processing to transporting and serving food.
This is where companies like SL Recycling play a powerful part in the call to arms by helping businesses reduce the waste to landfill volume, considering the environment at every stage of the process. Initially, we collect your waste and determine whether it can be redistributed. If it can’t be, it will then be transferred for Anaerobic Digestion, a process where renewable energy is created by a surplus of food. As a result, carbon emissions are minimised through reducing transportation to central locations where it contaminates the ground and even the water surface. We also provide a variety of container and transport options to ensure customers are able to properly store food waste, preventing unwanted leaks and odours.
Responsible Food Waste Management with SL Recycling
SL Recycling are one of the leading waste management providers in South Wales. We process over 1500 tonnes of metal, 300 tonnes of wood, 100 tonnes of cardboard and 600 tonnes of commercial industrial waste per week! To take a step in the right direction towards creating a greener future, get in contact with us today and speak to a member of our team. Alternatively, get a quote online and speed up the process.