Dozens of fast food restaurants, pubs, hotels and contract caterers have today signed a voluntary agreement to cut food and packaging waste by five per cent – the equivalent of 100 million meals – by 2015.
The pledge, called the Hospitality and Food Service Agreement
, will also see leading hospitality
service companies increase by 70 per cent the amount of packaging and waste food
that is being recycled and turned into green energy
. Early signatories to the agreement include both large and small and medium-sized companies, and include names such as McDonalds, Greggs, Green King, Adnams Brewery and Café Spice Namaste.
The agreement is backed by the UK, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland Governments, which will also encourage their own caterers to cut waste
Government waste body WRAP, which has coordinated the agreement, said that if just 25 per cent of the industry signed up to the commitment, the measures could save business £76 million by the end of 2015. They will also bring about savings of around 570,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions.
Pubs, restaurants, hotels and takeaways produce around 3.4 million tonnes of food
waste a year, almost half of which is being thrown away, mainly to landfill, according to WRAP. Along with food, the hospitality industry is also throwing away more than 500,000 tonnes of glass, paper and card. It estimates the hospitality industry is losing £724 million a year by not tackling its food waste properly.
"Tackling food waste brings significant financial and environmental benefits, as already demonstrated through our work on household food waste and within the Courtauld Commitment," said Dr Liz Goodwin, ceo, WRAP, who is urging more businesses to sign up to the agreement.
In all 69 organisations have signed up to the agreement and a steering group has been set up to review progress on delivery against the targets and share good practice.
WRAP said it will provide businesses with support to equip them to meet the commitments through online tools, workshops, working groups and expert advice.
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