How to Reduce Your Business Food Waste
Are you interested in reducing your business food waste? The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has provided tips on reducing food waste in the workplace. Learn how to make your business food waste more sustainable and reduce costs. It’s easier than you think. Start by reducing the amount of food that you throw away. In addition, consider the benefits of reducing food waste in your office. Continue reading for more ways to reduce your commercial waste.
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Business Food Waste: EPA
The EPA has provided several free tools to help businesses reduce their food waste. The Food Waste Assessment Guidebook provides helpful tips for analysing current operations, designing a waste reduction program, and training employees. You can also use the EPA’s Sustainable Management of Food program to learn about regional efforts to reduce food waste. It can be overwhelming to assess how much food your business is throwing out, so using these free tools can help you identify opportunities for improvement.
You can also participate in EPA webinars that focus on food waste reduction. The webinars feature experts in the field and are designed to offer helpful information and insights on sustainably managing food waste. The webinars provide participants with technical assistance and best management practices to transition to a zero-waste business model. You can register to attend one for free by visiting the EPA’s website or requesting more information.
Business Food Waste: Composting
Composting is the fifth step in the Food Recovery Hierarchy. Composting is a method of recycling in which inedible parts of food are turned into a rich mix of nutrients. Compost can then be used for growing crops and improving water quality. In 2018, 2.6 million tons of food were composted in the U.S., making composting an essential alternative to disposal. According to the EPA, Americans recovered nearly 25 million tons of MSW through composting and recycling in 2018.
The EPA and USDA released a new strategy for addressing commercial food waste in April 2019. The strategy outlines six priority areas for food-related initiatives. The goal is to enhance interagency coordination and reduce programmatic redundancy by leveraging complementary activities. In a recent 6-month detail to EPA, an economist from the USDA participated in developing a new municipal solid waste estimation tool. She presented the agency’s perspective at the Food Waste Summit on April 22.
The EPA has provided a list of resources and tools for business food waste reduction. You can also look for local food donation resources to help you donate unsalable foods. Many grocery stores have food donation programs that help them process their food for free. You can also search for these resources on the EPA’s website to find the best option for your business.
The EPA also has several tools for businesses to implement the new plan. For instance, you can use the Excess Food Opportunity Map to determine the best ways to reduce business food waste. The EPA has created a report that lists several resources for implementing this campaign. In addition to these resources, you can find many valuable tips and strategies for improving your food waste management program. In addition to the tips and tools listed on the EPA website, the report includes a toolkit and implementation guide that can help you implement these changes.
|You can put the following food waste in your caddy:
You cannot put the following waste in your caddy:
- meat and fish – raw or cooked, including bones and skin
- fruit and vegetables – raw or cooked
- all non-liquid dairy products
- eggs including shells
- bread, cakes and pastries
- rice, pasta and beans
- uneaten food from your plates and dishes
- tea bags and coffee grounds
Business Food Waste: Costs
The costs of food waste in the restaurant industry are difficult to quantify. The most obvious cost is the lost paid product, which affects multiple business areas. The average cost of business food waste is £1,200 per site. This figure includes food waste at every stage of the production process. Food waste in restaurants is a growing problem across the country, so businesses must take action now to reduce costs via their commercial waste contributions.
There are many ways to address the problem, including consulting with an expert, purchasing equipment, or training your employees on the importance of food waste management. In addition to reducing costs, food loss and waste can increase revenue. By reducing costs, companies can optimise their food purchases, reduce waste collection costs, and create salable products from food scraps. These strategies can be costly, but they will yield significant financial benefits.
The authors acknowledge the financial benefits of reducing business food waste. In addition to reducing waste in the restaurant sector, businesses in the consumer-facing sector can reduce their food costs by improving their food-related performance. A recent report by the nonprofit Champions 12.3 Foundation shows that food waste in restaurants costs £1,300 per restaurant per year. The study shows that waste in the restaurant industry accounts for more than 14 million tons of organic waste.
This results from large portion sizes and the inflexibility of chain-store management. Moreover, restaurants use estimates for how much food consumers will eat.
Business Food Waste: Ways to Reduce Food Waste
Food waste from businesses can be costly. The restaurant industry throws away over £25 billion in food annually, and an individual restaurant can lose over 4% of its sales value due to wasted food.
Here are some ways to get started:
- Start by collecting and composting leftovers.
- Measure and track food waste. – This can be as simple as collecting and counting all leftover food or more involved. Keeping track of changes in food purchases can help you reduce food waste. Chefs can even use discarded foods, such as unusual plant parts and animal products. Chefs can reuse and recycle excess ingredients by taking a nose-to-tail approach to food waste. Using discarded foods in a delicious recipe can add a unique twist to a dish.
- Educate employees on food waste. Food waste is a global problem. Approximately one-third of food produced worldwide is unused or lost, leaving a significant economic toll on our planet, humans, and businesses. Restaurants are one of the leading sources of food waste. They waste enormous amounts of food due to overproduction and inflexibility in chain store management. By using fewer ingredients and cutting portions, restaurants can save energy, money, and labour.
- Recycle surplus food. Restaurants can also help by making their portion sizes more flexible. Ensure that garnishes are edible. Actively encourage the use of carry-out containers. – Join the Save the Food campaign.
- Engage staff in food waste reduction practices by offering training and rewarding them for their efforts.
- Challenge other businesses to implement similar practices.
- Challenge other restaurants and businesses to adopt your best practices.
- Create a culture of sustainability. Food waste is a global problem and is an issue that affects the environment. Food loss and waste cost about £940 billion a year in the U.S. alone. Although consumers are primarily responsible for most of it, food suppliers also contribute to this problem. For example, restaurants can implement a composting program to make their business food waste-free. It can save billions of meals and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
- Offer food to those in need. Food donation programs can help businesses donate unused food products to local charities and soup kitchens. For example, Trader Joe’s has a food donation program that donates unsold food to local food banks and soup kitchens. Last year, the food retailer donated over £370 million and 72 million pounds of food to food banks and soup kitchens. Discuss with your employees how you can reduce food waste at your business. Consider implementing signage in dining halls to remind consumers of portion sizes and change the menu to accommodate customers.
Business Food Waste – Learn more about UK business waste statistics here
Other useful links from our Commercial Waste Centre
The Benefits of Dry Mixed Recycling
Looking After Your Business Bins
Commercial Skip Hire – How to Find a Cheap Deal
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