VIDEO: Hospitality industry reaps benefits of reducing food waste

Hotels, restaurants and pubs across the UK have saved more than £10m by together committing to reduce food waste as part of the Hospitality and Food Service Agreement (HaFSA).

According to first-year results of the Agreement published today (2 December) by WRAP, signatories from the hospitality and foodservice sector have seen a 7% increase in the recycling rate for food and packaging waste since 2012, with an overall rate of 54%.

The target is to increase food and packaging waste recycled, sent to anaerobic digestion or composted to at least 70% by the end of 2015.

The data also reveals a 2.5% reduction in CO2 associated with food and packaging waste, against the overall target of a 5% reduction by the end of 2015, and a 23% increase in the amount of surplus food being redistributed.

WRAP states that monitoring and measuring has made a huge contribution to the progress of waste reduction in the sector. Once companies assign costs to the amount of food waste they produce, they get ‘a real wake-up call to take action.’

Positive impact

WRAP director of sustainable food systems Richard Swannell said “I’m delighted by the enthusiasm with which HaFSA has been embraced by industry, and acted upon.

“Today we see the first indication of the positive impact the hard work undertaken by signatories and supporters is having towards the collective HaFSA ambitions.

“There’s no doubt that a lot of work still needs to be done to build upon this positive start, but HaFSA is helping to bring the right people together to deliver solutions… actions – whether collective or individual – make business sense and save money.”

Along with the results, WRAP has published case studies and a video to highlight how individual action can be implemented in a business.

VIDEO: The Hospitality and Food Service Agreement: Making progress, making a difference

In November last year, research from WRAP revealed that approximately 1.3bn meals are thrown away by the hospitality and food service sector every year. 

In April, hospitality businesses across the UK were advise to recycle surplus food, as a report by food waste recycler ReFood revealed the sector was set to spend an extra £32m sending food waste to landfill in 2014.

Lois Vallely

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