The war on plastics, who’s confused? As I write, I have just been handling a back and forth email correspondence between a waste contractor and one of our large contracts who is trying to make their operation as sustainable as possible. With so many different types of packaging material available no wonder we’re confused about how to best align them with our waste streams, and to add another element of confusion – the waste stream routes change depending on where your operation is based.
With all the different types of plastic to consider PE, PS, RPET, PET, PLA, CPLA and whether they will end up in a RDF, ERF or a MRF?…… sometimes I feel it will never be that simple, can we just go back to A-B-C for a minute?
Whilst Elior are making great strides towards reducing single use plastics across the business (hey, did you know that Elior have just banned plastic straws? Removing over 1 million from our operations per year?), there is still a need for packaging however because it ensures that our food can be presented as fresh as possible, from farm to fork.
So what can we do? Let’s start with single-use disposables, we are challenging our operations to firstly question whether that throw-away item is really required and if it is then we want to ensure that we are choosing the most environmentally friendly option that we can, from the type of material used to how it can be disposed.
For our elements grab and go range, it will always be presented in Vegware packaging, which is made from lower carbon, recycled, sustainably sourced and renewable resources; materials such as fallen palm leaves and Bagasse, which is recycled sugarcane. What we also love about Vegware packaging is that it has the potential to be composted, which makes us so excited as we can work with our clients and their waste contractors to take this offer further and close the loop.
I look forward to catching you at one of our restaurants with an Elements Banana & Peanut Butter Brownie in one hand and a delightful artisan coffee in the other, served in one of Elior’s bespoke reusable mugs.
Until next time.
Corporate & Social Responsibility Manager for Elior UK