This section is dedicated to all companies that fall within the catering sector and want to embark on circular economy paths. We are addressing bars, restaurants, fast food chains, markets, mass catering and food and beverage companies.
How sustainable is catering today? The current scenario of the sector
Food losses in catering, that is 345 million tonnes per year
Tonnes of food wasted in Italian restaurants every year
Of the food cooked every day in Italian canteens is wasted
European directives and targets to adopt the circular economy in catering
- Implement measures to reduce food waste by 30% by 2025 and 50% by 2030;
- Reduce the consumption of single-use plastic products by 2026: cups and glasses with their lids, ready-to-eat food containers (such as fast-food, sandwiches, salad boxes, fruit and vegetable packaging and packaged desserts);
- Banning disposable plastic, which includes products made of oxo-degradable and disposable plastic, such as: crockery, cutlery, straws, drink stirrers, glasses and expanded polyester food containers (such as containers with or without lids, used to store ready-to-eat food)
Why is sustainable catering important?
In 2015, global expenditure in restaurants exceeded food purchases in shops for the first time. Catering accounts for 5% of the world’s GDP, a dimension that is correlated with high resource use and waste generation.
The circular economy offers a concrete solution to reduce these externalities. In a closed system, food waste is in fact seen as a useful resource that can be reused in subsequent production cycles, creating a system similar to that found in nature.
A circular approach also provides concrete business benefits: reducing waste and production costs, aligning with new market needs and enhancing one’s reputation, increasing competitiveness and anticipating future regulations.
How to create a sustainable kitchen
- Purchasing food produced and packaged in an environmentally sustainable manner.
- Logistics and distribution, preferring eco-friendly products and packaging
- In the kitchen, using high-efficiency equipment, renewable energy, reusing waste and proposing new dishes based on sustainable food.
- Communication, raising consumer awareness through low-impact menus and through personal branding
Some catering companies have turned their business into a virtuous example of applying the circular economy, using their resources to benefit themselves and the environment
Some companies have succeeded in converting unsold produce from fruit and vegetable markets into 100% biodegradable plastic to make environmentally sustainable packaging for fruit and vegetables, avoiding the disposal of vegetable waste and reducing the use of polluting plastic.
Some companies have managed to recover organic waste (such as oranges and coffee grounds) in shopping centres by transforming it into a ‘second product’ that can be reintroduced and sold in the same centre.
Some industry companies help chefs reduce waste by using digitisation and traceability tools to manage and measure waste and discards in kitchens, halving food waste and saving money.
Circularity can help your catering business embark on a circular economy journey. Investing in Circularity allows you to embrace sustainable production models for the planet, strengthening your business model and aiming for long-term economic, social and environmental benefits.