Thinking Forward: How Foodbuy are helping their clients navigate the recent ban on various single-use plastic products

5 October 2023

At Foodbuy, our approach is to reduce, reuse and recycle single-use plastics across our supply chains, with a commitment to supporting our clients with their sustainable sourcing and waste reduction targets. This commitment is becoming increasingly relevant, with a ban on the supply of some single use plastics coming into play in England on October 1st, 2023. This includes the supply of single use plastic cutlery, balloon sticks and expanded / extruded polystyrene food and drinks containers, with single use plastic bowls, plates and trays banned where they are not used as packaging and sold directly to consumers. Bioplastics like PLA are also included in the definition of 'plastic'.

Foodbuy is, as always, working to reduce unnecessary single-use plastic food packaging from its operations, identifying and replacing these items with suitable, sustainable alternatives. Our expert procurement teams have been working hard behind the scenes to ensure we can provide our clients with the best alternative options, at the best price.

The next generation of food packaging: what is Foodbuy doing to support?

To help our clients make the swap as seamless as possible, our team of procurement experts have been working hard to ensure Foodbuy can offer some great alternative products. For example, our trusted supplier, Bunzl Catering Supplies, is offering seaweed lined packaging, which has minimal environmental impact, with a coating made from plant extracts and seaweed – one of nature’s most sustainable resources. Globally abundant and fast-growing, seaweed doesn’t require fresh water or fertiliser, and doesn’t compete for arable land, unlike many land-based natural crops. Seaweed also reduces ocean acidification and effectively absorbs carbon, making it one of the weapons against climate change in the foodservice industry. The coating also has the same grease and water-resistant qualities of plastic, but degrades naturally, leaving no harmful traces behind in the environment. This innovative solution offers our clients a simple and guilt-free packaging option - even if the packaging doesn’t reach the bin, it degrades in nature in just 4-6 weeks.

By working together with Bunzl Catering Supplies, we are proud that 4 million cups and food containers made from expanded polystyrene (EPS), and 30 million cups made from plastic have been replaced with sustainable product alternatives, such as board and bagasse. Alongside this, a roadmap to phase out single-use plastic cutlery from our supply chain is well under way, with a responsible move to wooden and paper cutlery.

Foodbuy have also recently introduced a switch from PVC to PE cling film, which is PVC, plasticizer, and BPA free. This is just one of the switches that we have made at Foodbuy to support our clients with the upcoming ban.

How can Foodbuy help?

Our team of procurement experts are here to assist you in sourcing alternative products that align with the latest regulations. With well-established partnerships with suppliers in the UK and on global scale, we can offer a solution that meets your needs and budget.

If you’d like to learn more about how we can help your business to comply, get in touch with us here: