Reducing food and landfill waste

A 2021 report by the World Travel and Tourism Council stated that water bottles, disposable toiletries, plastic bags and bin liners, food packaging and cups are the five most frequently polluting single use plastic products specific to the travel and tourism sector.

In our 2023 consumer survey visitors were asked what they would be prepared to do on holiday to be more sustainable. 86% said they would sort rubbish into recycling and food waste bins, 74% would keep the same bedding and towels for the duration of their stay and 64% would stop using single use plastics. Therefore, customers are willing to do their bit to become more eco-friendly and expect the same of the tourism businesses they choose stay at or visit.

Reducing food waste

Billions of pounds are thrown in the bin and over 1 million tonnes of food waste sent to landfill every year which could still have been eaten. Guardians of Grub have lots of useful info about reducing food waste. Their Cost Saving Calculator helps businesses find out how much money and carbon equivalent they could save if they reduced wasted food.

UK Hospitality have some great tips for reducing food waste and re-distributing leftover food if you find that you have surplus stock.

Recycling part-used bathroom toiletries and soaps

Clean Conscience provide hotels with a way to divert their leftover and unused bathroom toiletries and soaps from going to landfill and being re-distributed to those in need.

Sustainable packaging

If you offer a takeaway service, City To Sea have put together a guide on different options and which are the most sustainable options to use.

Go to the Litter Free Dorset website for their ultimate guide to packaging containing lots of information about what different types of packaging exist and the pros and cons of each one.

Recycling and Food Waste Collections

If you are looking for a food waste or recycling collection for your business, you can contact Dorset Council for a quote.

Encouraging reusables

To reduce packaging provided to your customers, encourage them to bring their own reusable water bottles, coffee cups, lunch boxes and cutlery. Not only will it reduce waste going to landfill, it will save your business money. You can promote this at your business and perhaps offer a small discount to encourage customers to take part (or charge more for products sold in packaging that you have supplied). City to Sea offer free promotion for businesses who sell products without packaging on their popular ReFill app.

Download a Refill Dorset poster from Litter Free Dorset, to display at your business to encourage your customers to refill their water bottles when visiting Dorset. You can also encourage your customers and guests to get involved with Litter Free Dorset's BYO (Bring Your Own) campaign. There are resources on the Litter Free Dorset website that you can download and print off to use at your business.

If you're trying to encourage your staff to reduce packaging and single-use plastic, why not display this poster in your staff room to get your staff thinking about what they can do to help the planet. This tap water poster is also available to encourage staff to drink tap water instead of buying bottled water.

When visitors arrive in the UK, they don't always understand that tap water is drinkable. Help your guests to understand which taps are safe for drinking water and encourage them to refill bottles by displaying this poster at your holiday accommodation.

Reducing PPE waste and how to recycle single-use PPE

Find out how to reduce and dispose of your PPE waste more responsibly from Safe Tec Direct.

If you are looking to recycle PPE, Terracycle have a Zero Waste Box scheme which allows you to recycle certain single-use items such as masks and gloves.

Reducing single use-plastic

There are 8 certified Plastic Free Communities in Dorset and many more communities in progress. They work with businesses, residents and local organisations to collectively reduce plastic waste. You can find out more and make connections with your local group via the Plastic Free Communities website

Designed to be displayed at holiday accommodation, these posters encourage visitors to reduce their single-use plastic when they are out exploring, using the kitchen or in the bathroom.

Wanting to reduce or remove single-use plastic from your business? Litter Free Dorset have designed a document to help you audit what single-use plastic items you already use and then create an action plan.

5 Step challenge to becoming plastic free     

1) Over one week/month audit all the items which your business buys/uses which are made of plastic (keeping a separate list of what can be recycled and what cannot be recycled).

2) Once you've completed the audit, focus on what creates the most non-recyclable plastic waste first – it might be food or stock packaging, cleaning products, disposable items you give to customers (coffee cups, cutlery, bags etc). 

3) Decide if you absolutely have to keep buying these products, i.e. if you are a coffee shop, encourage customers to bring refill cups or enjoy a sit-down drink rather than takeaway. If you have to keep buying the products, research sustainable options for when your stock runs out. 

4) Don’t try to replace everything all at once – when you are getting low on stock of each plastic item, research what the alternatives are. If you can’t find a sustainable alternative to plastic, make sure that it can be recycled. Speak to other businesses and plastic free communities to get ideas. 

5) After 6 or 12 months, carry out another audit to see what you have achieved and where you next need to focus your attention. Don't forget to tell your customers about the changes you have made and how much plastic waste you have reduced.

What does your Dorset look like? Adventures on our epic coastline? Visiting attractions with family? A walk through the beautiful countryside? Or perhaps a chilled out evening eating and drinking with friends? Discover a sample of your #VisitDorset images below and share your love for Dorset using the hashtag on Instagram.