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.
But there is much which can be done to reduce single use plastics and other waste items ending up in landfill or polluting the oceans.
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.
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 takeaway 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.
Recycling and Food Waste Collections
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. The combined effort of businesses already offering tap water refills saved an estimated 100 million single-use bottles from entering the waste stream in 2019.
Aiming for zero waste
Take a Green Step provide information about working towards becoming a zero waste hotel.
Reducing single use-plastic
There are 5 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 Litter Free Dorset website.
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.