25 January 2024
As part of our Climate Net Zero by 2030 commitment with our parent company and largest client, Compass UK & Ireland, we actively work to reduce and eliminate unnecessary single-use plastic and packaging usage and waste from our operations - identifying and replacing these items with suitable, sustainable alternatives.
When it comes to eliminating and reducing our plastic and packaging usage and waste, the challenges are significant. With recovery and recycling, solutions simply don’t yet exist for many of the materials we use. For example, packaging with food contamination must be discarded as general waste and sent for incineration, no matter the material type. To this end, we’re constantly working with our waste management partners to find solutions for hard-to-recycle items. Additionally, we explore and test sustainably sourced bio-based materials like bamboo, palm leaf, and seaweed as part of our ongoing efforts.
In 2023, we worked with Bunzl Catering Supplies and Compass UK&I to minimise the use of PVC cling film by introducing reusable containers and lids as alternatives.
However, the removal of cling film is not always operationally viable, in addition to the fact that cling film has unique properties that play an important role in the reduction of food waste, which is why Bunzl Catering Supplies introduced and recommended PE cling film. Unlike PVC cling film, PE cling film is 100% recyclable*, it is also plasticizer and BPA-free, suitable for wrapping all food types, and can be used in the fridge, freezer and microwave.
We are proud that from June 2023, Compass Group UK&I has successfully transitioned away from PVC cling film, replacing it with reusable containers, lids, or PE cling film. This initiative, supported by our collaborative efforts, has resulted in a reduction of over 31 tonnes of PVC plastic since 2022, equivalent to more than 5,200 miles. This marks a significant advancement in our ongoing commitment to increasing the recyclability of products and packaging, while maintaining the necessary properties needed to keep food fresh and healthy. Looking ahead, packaging and plastics will remain a key focus area as we continue to make strides in fulfilling our sustainability commitments.
For more information on our Net Zero commitments with Compass Group UK&I, visit - compassukiclimatereport
*PE cling film is not widely recycled and is dependent on contamination levels and local recycling facilities. Future Government plans include making PE cling film a core material for waste management companies to collect and recycle. The switch from PVC to PE is in anticipation of this.