Veolia has been contracted to manage food waste, glass recycling and general waste from the Wetherspoon’s estate of more than 900 pubs, hotels and bars across the UK and Republic of Ireland.

A food and coffee recycling initiative is estimated to prevent 11,500 tonnes of food waste going to landfill annually, facilitating the production of 3,450 MWh of renewable energy each year – enough to  power 35,937 11-watt lights for a year – all while reducing annual greenhouse gas emissions. The move is Wetherspoon’s latest step to reach a 100% waste diversion target by the end of 2018.

Wetherspoon’s contractor performance manager, David Willis, said: “Wetherspoon is committed to leading the hospitality industry into a sustainable future.

“We are pleased to highlight our commitment to a genuinely sustainable future by entering into partnership with Veolia UK for the management of our general waste, food waste and glass recycling.”

All waste managed by Veolia for Wetherspoon’s will remain in the UK, further reducing the carbon impact of its estate.

The latest WRAP figures reveal that the hospitality and food service industry accounts for approximately 17% of the 10 million tonnes of food waste produced annually in the UK – a problem which cost the sector an estimated £3bn in 2016. J D Weterspoon has rolled-out various initiatives to reduce food waste in favour of saving money.

Leading partnership 

The pub chain has previously been hailed as a sustainability leader after teaming up with DHL in 2015 to implement a reverse logistics solution that increased recycling rates, ensured zero waste to landfill, reduced carbon emissions and saved money at select locations.

Wetherspoon has additionally banned the use of plastic straws unless customers requested them last September, and has since made the switch to biodegradable paper straws. 

Commenting on the partnership, Veolia’s senior executive vice-president – and former Sustainability Leader of the Year, Estelle Brachlianoff added: “It is vital we treat unavoidable food waste sustainably and recognise both the environmental and economic benefits that can be produced by converting it into ‘green energy’ as part of a wider recycling scheme.

“As one of the most well-known names on the High Street, we’re proud to be working with the team at J D Wetherspoon and supporting them in achieving their goals of zero waste to landfill and protecting the environment by taking care of their recycling and general waste sustainably.”

Sarah George 

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