Marston’s achieves zero-waste-to-landfill goal

Pub chain and brewer Marston's has revealed that it has hit its 2020 zero-waste-to-landfill goal two years ahead of schedule, after sending more than three-quarters (77%) of its waste to be recycled this year.

The company, which operates almost 1,600 pubs across the UK, announced this week that it is now diverting 99.5% of its 60,000-tonne annual waste output from landfill, in line with national zero-waste-to landfill standard requirements.

The goal was achieved after Marston’s partnered with UK Waste Solutions (UKWSL) in 2016. As a result, the pub chain designed and implemented a ‘Resource and Waste Management Action Plan’ (RWMP) across its estate.

Within nine months of implementing the RWMP, Marston’s’ pubs increased their average recycling rate from 60% to 73%. The chain attributes the plan to “systemically changing” its management culture to the point that 77% of all waste is being recycled.

Marston’s claims that the achievement makes it the first UK pub chain to have achieved zero-waste-to-landfill to date, with rival Greene King diverting 98% of its waste from landfill last year.

“We have been the first to action a number of initiatives which have been through exhaustive testing and are now active across several areas of the business – from plastics, to energy, to carbon footprint,” Marston’s’ head of group facilities Andy Kershaw said. “With the help of our partners, we are helping to place Marston’s as an industry leading sustainable company in the hospitality sector.”

Innovative developments

The achievement comes after Marston’s replaced all its single-use plastic straws with biodegradable alternatives earlier this year, with the straws then being collected by UKWSL for processing.

The partnership has also seen Marston’s install robotic cardboard balers at several of its pubs, in a bid to improve segregation and quality of cardboard. The move has also reduced the frequency at which cardboard collections are required, therefore cutting transport emissions.

Additionally, the pub chain has made moves to explore whether it can recapture its plastic waste output and incorporate circular products in its estate. For example, some pubs now have fencing, decking and garden furniture made from post-consumer recycled (PCR) plastics.

Marston’s has also pledged to use 100% LED lighting in all new build pubs and to retrofit all its existing sites with energy-efficient alternatives.

It has additionally applied to Ofwat for a water supply licence and a sewerage licence, with a retail authorisation limited to self-supply, in a bid to slash its water footprint.

Sarah George

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