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Scottish hospitality businesses urged to ‘plate up for the planet’

“Every Scottish hospitality business needs to play a role in protecting the country’s environment,” that’s the message being delivered to the nation’s catering businesses by Zero Waste Scotland, MasterChef winner Gary Maclean and owner of Glasgow’s Black Sheep Bistro, Angela Loftus.

1 Sep 19

The environmental agency is urging restaurants, takeaways and other food related businesses to help the environment by reducing the volume of carbon heavy food waste being binned.

In addition, the hospitality sector has been identified as a key player in helping the country meet ambitious targets set by the Scottish Government to cut food waste by one third by 2025 from 2013 base levels.

Gary Maclean, who is also Scotland’s National Chef, said: “Food waste is a villain that we can fight with basic good professional practice. Making sure that we buy, prepare and serve food in the most efficient, considered ways possible shows respect for our planet, our businesses and our customers.”

It is estimated that the Scottish hospitality industry wastes the equivalent of one in every six meals that it serves and costs around £212m a year. In addition, when we waste food, we also waste all the energy and resources that went into producing, processing, transporting and cooking it. All this waste can be bad news for businesses as they are less efficient and competitive, and this ultimately means money is needlessly wasted too.

Angela Loftus, owner of the Black Sheep Bistro, said: “We’ve been working with Zero Waste Scotland to reduce the food waste we generate. Our customers love our ‘greener’ approach and are especially pleased to be offered a Good to Go doggy bag. They see it as an extra service, better value and a chance to do the right thing.”

Zero Waste Scotland is offering food waste audits to help hospitality related businesses to identify where they could make reductions in the volume of waste they produce. As part of this, the organisation will help to target potential problem areas, measure what is being wasted and recommend what can be done to improve this. Looking at every stage from purchasing to plate waste, specialists will also look for any other processes that may help food related businesses to meet forthcoming changes to legislation.

Iain Gulland, chief executive at Zero Waste Scotland, said: “In our current climate emergency, it simply isn’t good enough to continue to operate in the wasteful ways of the past. Our audits are designed to identify where catering businesses can be more efficient and make more with the resources they have. We’re looking for achievable tweaks that businesses can make and do their bit that work for them and Scotland’s environment.

“Food waste is a huge contributor to carbon emissions and catering businesses can play a significant role in reducing this impact. If businesses take steps to address their waste it will pay-off for all of us.”

Zero Waste Scotland has made the call for businesses to get involved as part of WRAP’s month-long Guardians of Grub campaign. It also coincides with National Food & Drink Fortnight (from 31 August to 15 September).

Previous research from Zero Waste Scotland warns that food waste is worse than plastic for climate change. Food waste is a greater cause of global warming because of all the resources and energy that goes into growing and making the food in the first place. If wasted food is then sent to landfill, the impacts are even worse as this produces and emits methane, one of the most damaging greenhouse gases. In the short-term, methane is many times worse than carbon dioxide.

If you are interested in receiving a free Good to Go starter pack of boxes, bags and food safety stickers please visit - https://www.zerowastescotland.org.uk/food-waste/good-to-go-starter-pack




Notes For Editors

  • Zero Waste Scotland exists to create a society where resources are valued and nothing is wasted. Our goal is to help Scotland realise the economic, environmental and social benefits of making best use of the world’s limited natural resources. We are funded to support delivery of the Scottish Government’s circular economy strategy and the EU Action Plan for the Circular Economy.
  • More information on all Zero Waste Scotland’s programmes can be found at https://www.zerowastescotland.org.uk/. You can also keep up to date with the latest from Zero Waste Scotland through via our social media channels: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn


For media enquiries contact:

Jamie MacDonald, PR Manager, Zero Waste Scotland


Email: jamie.macdonald@zerowastescotland.org.uk


Sophie Thirkell, Press Officer, Zero Waste Scotland

Mobile: 07966 284095

Email: sophie.thirkell@zerowastescotland.org.uk

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