Whether you want to be kind to the environment or you're just tired of producing so much rubbish at your restaurant, there are many ways you can reduce your waste output. Many restaurateurs make an effort to reduce organic food waste, but what about packaging? Food packaging can pile up quickly in a restaurant, and it's often more damaging to the environment than organic waste. If you're not yet taking steps to reduce how much packaging you throw away, try these 3 ideas:
Buy More In-Season Produce
One of the best ways to reduce your packaging use is to make sure less packaging comes into your establishment to start with. You can do this by forgoing some of your out-of-season produce. As out-of-season produce has to be preserved for longer and travels so far to get to you, it naturally comes with a lot of packaging. Opting for more in-season ingredients will keep your incoming packaging levels low, and your patrons are sure to appreciate the quality. You can reduce your out-of-season needs by bulk-buying in season and freezing the produce in a blast chiller. As an added bonus, bulk-buying will also reduce how much packaging your in-season produce needs.
Opt for Reusable Containers
An obvious way to use less packaging is to use as many reusable containers as possible. If you give your customers salt and sugar sachets, pre-packed sauce and milk pots or disposable cutlery or plates, think about switching them out for shakers, self-serve stations and reusable dishes. If you serve takeout food to your patrons, think about putting their food in reusable bags and reusable containers. You can encourage customers to bring the container back the next time they return by offering them a small discount on their next purchase if they do.
Use Recyclable Packaging
It's difficult to get rid of all packaging completely, but you can make sure that what you do use is recyclable or compostable. Paper take-out boxes instead of plastic ones, for example, are kinder to the environment. Some plastics can be recycled, but make sure you check with your supplier first. Aside from making your restaurant more green, recycling is often more affordable than landfilling, so you'll save money at the same time.
When it comes to disposing of the waste you have produced, whether recyclable or not, make sure you use a reputable commercial rubbish removal service to get the job done safely and affordably.