The latest report from sustainability body WRAP reveals that whilst packaging has a crucial role to play in the foodservice and hospitality industry, striking a good balance between protection and going over the top is key.

Entitled ‘Overview of Waste in the UK Hospitality and Food Service (HaFS) Sector’, the report (the largest ever of its kind, edie.net reveals) suggested that using the right amount of packaging will be key in helping the HaFS sector reduce its waste levels.

It reads: “Packaging plays a vital role in protecting and preserving food and drink throughout the supply chain and keeping it fresher for longer.

“However, the amount of packaging used around produced used by the HaFS, as in other sectors, is about getting the balance of product protection verses packaging use right (packaging optimisation).”

At present, 62 per cent of the sector’s non-food waste and packaging is recycled – but a further 420,000 tonnes goes to landfill and around 80 per cent of that could easily be recycled, packagingnews.co.uk reports. Pubs lead the way in terms of recycling, with 73 per cent of their waste going to further use; however the healthcare sector doesn’t fare so well, with a recycling rate of only 14 per cent.

Although the report demonstrated that there’s room for improvement, overall the results look promising and the chairman of the FPA (Foodservice Packaging Association), Neil Whittall, praised the HaFS sector for its “lower than average” food waste levels.

In addition, WRAP’s programme manager for hospitality and food service, Charlotte Henderson, was encouraged by the report’s “full” picture of how waste is managed in the sector; citing it as the first step to overcoming the issue.

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