only 14% of plastic packaging is collected for recycling and the recycling rate for plastics in general is even lower
global plastic production has increased from 15 million tonnes in 1964 to 367 million tonnes in 2020, and is expected to double again over the next 20 years
plastic takes at least 100 years to degrade
more than two-thirds of the earth’s surface is covered by oceans, seas and coastal areas and constitutes 95% of the space available to life
by 2050, there will be more plastic than fish (by weight) in the oceans if we don’t do something about it
73% of millennials (21-34) are willing to pay more for sustainable offerings
Plastic products and plastic packaging play an important role in maintaining hygiene in gastronomy, as they protect food, ensure food safety and improve shelf life. Single-use items, mostly made out of plastic, have up until now been almost indispensable in the gastronomy sector. However, both the production and disposal of plastic and single-use plastic products requires resources and has a negative impact on the environment – especially on our oceans. Gastronomy thus, has an impact on the plastic waste challenge and should forgo the unnecessary plastic.
This has many advantages, also for your gastronomy business:
Less waste, lower costs
Comply with regulations
Good for image
Prevent pollution of local and global environment
Save natural resources
The way plastics are currently produced, used and discarded harms the environment and casts a long shadow over that material. Nearly all the plastic ever created still exists in some form today, because plastic takes at least 100 years to degrade, and is polluting landfills, oceans and the marine environment. When plastic degrades into small fragments, the animals that live in or from the sea, mistake plastic for food and in that way microplastics enter our food chain. This means for you as a restaurant owner, that fish stocks can be impacted and in order to provide the best quality for your guests, you will deal with considerable price differences due to quality.
Analyse your plastic consumption and the sources of plastic, how you use and dispose it. A simple waste audit will help avoid single-use plastic such as plastic-wrapped food and drinks or plastic containers for takeaway. Since July 2021, many single-use plastic items have been banned in the EU and further laws will be introduced. In Germany, starting in 2023, caterers, delivery services and restaurants will be required to offer reusable containers for takeaway food and beverages in addition to disposable containers. You too will have to use alternatives that are reusable, recyclable and compostable such as plates made from plant-based materials like bamboo. And you can then go for more advanced ways to avoid plastic waste.