Cré recently joined other bodies to commission REDC to conduct a Commercial Food Waste Survey. We felt that research was needed to assess attitudes & behaviours among businesses in relation to food waste disposal to feed into discussions around food waste legislation.
A mix of business types and sizes with a wide geographical spread within Ireland was included in the survey. Bars, pubs, restaurants, and coffee shops made up most of the business types.
We discovered that more than 9 in 10 businesses reported having a general and a recycling waste bin, however, only 89% and 66% of these said they use these bins for their waste, respectively. Despite legislation requiring businesses to have a food waste bin, only 3 in 4 said they have a food waste bin and only 67% of these said they use these bins.
Lack of Food Waste Bin
According to businesses, the main reason why they do not have or use a food waste bin is because it was not provided by their waste collector. Not having the space needed for an extra bin and not knowing about food waste bins were also among the reasons cited.
On the other hand, over a third of those who use a food waste bin say they do so because it is the law. A slightly lower proportion use a food waste bin because it is environmentally friendly, while a quarter of businesses say using a food waste bin keeps the food waste separate from other types of waste and leaves other waste cleaner for recycling.
Just under 2 in 5 say they receive summary trends in relation to their food waste bin usage and 2 in 3 say they look over bills and charges to see if they are producing too much food waste. Over 8 in 10 report monitoring kitchens, having systems in place to reduce food waste produced and train their staff in relation to separating food waste
While 8 in 10 say they are happy they are doing all they can in relation to reducing food waste, just under 3 in 5 would still like to do more but say they either cannot justify the resources required or do not know where to begin. Only 1 in 4 believe that separating waste is too time consuming and costs money, while only 1 in 6 report throwing their food waste with the general waste as it is easier.
Infographics to show what type of waste goes into each bin proves to have universal appeal among businesses to help encourage them to use their food waste bin, while nearly 9 in 10 believe a downloadable food waste reduction toolkit is also useful. Over 70% would also think online videos and customer facing promotional material would be helpful in getting businesses to use a food waste bin
When asked to suggest what else can be done to encourage more frequent usage of food waste bins, businesses mention monetary incentives and help with staff training. In addition, 13% feel that they already do as much as they can regarding food waste.
To access a full copy of the report please contact Cré Certification directly.