A report commissioned by WRAP has found that the hospitality sector could save up to £724m a year through a combination of waste prevention and diverting material from landfill to anaerobic digestion.
The report, ‘The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry’ estimates that over 3.4 million tonnes of waste is generated by hotels, pubs and restaurants every year. Of this, 48 per cent, or 1.6 million tonnes, is recycled, reuse or composted, while 43 per cent, or 1.5 million tonnes, is thrown away.
WRAP estimates that up to 80 per cent of this could be recycled, with food waste representing a “particular opportunity”. The research claims that of the 600,000 tonnes-a-year of food waste sent to landfill, two-thirds was avoidable, while the remaining 200,000 tonnes of “unavoidable” waste could be sent for anaerobic digestion.
WRAP’s director of design and waste prevention, Richard Swannell, claimed these figures suggest there is a real opportunity for the hospitality sector to reduce waste and costs.
“It is clear from our findings that much work has been done by the hospitality sector to reduce waste to landfill in favour of increased recycling, and more could be done. Businesses are keen to recycle, or recycle more, but often come across barriers, such as a lack of space.
“Working together, there is a real opportunity to reduce waste and recycle more, delivering reductions in CO2 emissions, as well as generating cost savings.”