Most people are aware of the importance of reducing plastic waste and are indeed working towards reducing their carbon footprint. However, businesses in the hospitality industry continue to churn out millions of tons of plastic waste, which includes cups, plates, straws, water bottles, takeaway boxes, and so on. According to statistics, more than 300 million tons of plastic are produced annually, 50% of which is for single use.
Here’s how you can cut down on plastic waste in your hospitality business:
Perform plastic use audits from time to time
The first step towards any effective waste management program is performing a waste audit. Although you can do this yourself, your waste management consultant can help you investigate the sources of your waste, the volume, its composition, and its destination. By establishing the amount of plastic waste your business generates, you can make informed decisions on how to cut it down and dispose of it correctly.
Make sure all plastics used in your business are collected
Your plastic waste audit will help shed light on which areas would need more bins to ensure that all your plastic wastes are collected for recycling. Apart from the restaurant, bar, and kitchen areas, consider putting up bins all over your business so that guests can dispose of plastics correctly, Consider including a bin on your housekeeping trolley so that your staff can collect bottles or plastic wastes left behind by guests in their rooms.
Use biodegradable packaging
With more hospitality businesses going green, it makes sense for you to switch to eco-friendly packaging options. Biodegradable packaging serves the same purpose as plastics bud decompose at a faster rate as it’s made from recycled or plant-based material. Though this may result in products becoming a little costlier, a survey shows that 55% of consumers are willing to pay more for products packaged with sustainable material.
Work to a reputable waste management consultant
A competent waste management consultant will help you recycle plastic waste that would have ended up in a landfill or dispose of it in a way that meets the local and state laws and regulations. Your consultant will also help you identify opportunities for closed or open loop recycling options in your business. In closed-loop recycling, products are used for the same use. For example, soft drinks are repacked in previously used soft drinks bottles. In open loop recycling, waste is recycled into materials of lower value.
While it’s commendable to have a corporate strategy that’s geared towards plastic waste reduction, true change will only happen when business entities and individuals work together. Have conversations with your suppliers and customers on the need to reduce plastic wastes. Make sure that all your employees are aware of and embrace the green practices you are implementing.