The goal of reducing waste across many sectors of the food-service industry is following a paradigm shift. Discarded waste that fills non-degradable bags and populates landfills is not only aesthetically undesirable, but it's also environmentally irresponsible. "Going green" and "reducing our carbon footprint" are not just buzzwords; they are responsible steps toward a more sustainable lifestyle.
Full-circle sustainability offers a three-faceted benefits package to the restaurant industry:
Reducing landfill loads also reduces the production of methane gas, which is a primary contributor to the greenhouse gases that pollute the atmosphere.
Food waste chips away at profit margins and increases waste-disposal costs. These costs can plummet by using alternative strategies designed to recycle and repurpose restaurant waste.
Sales profits are enhanced by people profits. Although restaurants can reduce waste by donating leftover food, feeding those in need is the higher benefit.
Restaurant owners following the curve toward sustainability are led by three different influences:
An internal compass that instinctively points toward responsibility and accountability is a strong motivator to "do the right thing."
The developing consumer-driven shift toward sustainable restaurant practices is picking up momentum. Restaurants are experiencing an increased need to maintain transparency and accountability to their customers with their sustainable choices.
Legislation continues to increase in many cities now requiring the food service industry to decrease waste and phase out plastics like Styrofoam™ in favor of more sustainable packaging material.
Regardless of which influences drive restaurants toward the goal of sustainability, these green technologies and practices can help accomplish the goals:
- Compostable to-go containers. With a similar look but different composition than conventional foam packaging, these containers are made from plants.