Cutting food waste saves hospitality firms £10 million
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A project to reduce food waste in hotels, restaurants and pubs saved the signatories a total of £10 million in its first year, according to waste body Wrap.
Over 70 companies, representing 14% of the UK hospitality sector, signed up to the hospitality and food service agreement (HaFSA) when Wrap launched it in 2012.
These included the Domino's Pizza, Greene King, Greggs, McDonald's UK and Unilever. A further 130 companies have since joined the programme, meaning that it now covers 25% of the sector.
Companies joining the scheme pledge to reduce food and associated packaging waste by 5% by the end of 2015 against a 2012 baseline. Progress against the target is measured in reduced carbon emissions.
Over 6,100 tonnes of waste was saved by members in 2013, a 2.5% a reduction since 2012. This resulted in collective savings for those companies of £10 million, Wrap said.
However, the organisation acknowledged that there was still more to do. The cost of food waste to signatories is over £240 million a year, it said.
Participating companies also have a target of increasing the overall rate of food and packaging waste recycled, sent to anaerobic digestion or composted, to at least 70% by the end of 2015.
Over the past year, companies have increased the rate of recycling by seven percentage points to 54%, Wrap said. However, it added that many signatories are either not recycling their food waste at all or have not increased the proportion that is recycled.
Dr Richard Swannell, director of sustainable food systems at Wrap, said: "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."
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