Plastic Free July is a global movement and awareness campaign which began in 2011 in Australia. It has since grown to allow for the creation of the Plastic Free Foundation which now manages the coordination of the event along with all associated collateral. So, with July nearly here we look at ways businesses within the hospitality sector can embrace plastic free operations next month.

Before we discuss ways in which this can be achieved, we would like to draw attention to the single use ban which came into place from October 2020 in the England. The ban included single use plastic straws, stirrers and plastic stemmed cotton buds whilst Scotland banned the supply of drinking straws and the manufacture and supply of the other two. Wales are still currently under consultation and at present bans have been proposed but not yet actioned.

With this is mind we want to build on the action taken by the government to push businesses towards a more sustainable way of operating but suggesting ways you can reduce and go plastic free this July.

1. If you haven’t already – straws

We spent most of the last two years implementing strategies to help businesses make the transition from single use plastic straws to paper and other alternatives. If you haven’t already or still utilise plastic options then you need to consider either using paper, metal or bamboo straws.

Paper straws are great for everyday use, whereas metal straws are great for injecting a hint of premium elegance to your drink aesthetic.

2. Swap single use cups with a reusable incentive

Single cups, and more precisely their lids can be a huge area where your business ultimately creates a lot of plastic waste. A way in which you can inhibit the amount of plastic produced (should you offer coffee to go for your customers) is introducing a “Use your own cup” scheme. The incentive is very straightforward and already in place in most high-street big name coffee chains. The way you can make it better is by passing on the saving you incur from not using a cup and lid to the customer. This can be achieved by advertising any hot drink with two prices, one being your standard price and then a slightly reduced cost should customers have their own drinks cup.

3. Get rid of plastic cutlery

If your business uses plastic cutlery or offers it to customers, then why not consider replacing them for July with an alternative. Wooden cutlery is a great option as it fits perfectly with the environmental aesthetic whilst delivering on its fundamental function as products. Being rigid and hard wearing, wooden cutlery more than comfortably provides users with a great option to eat food with whilst being recyclable or compostable after use.

4. Cartonboard food packaging

If you make sandwiches, wraps, salad or other such ready lunches for your on-the-go customers you could reduce your plastic usage by changing your packaging. Plastic containers are a great way of ensuring ready-made meals stay fresh but there are other options which achieve the same goal but are better for the environment. Cartonboard is one such example. Being compostable and recyclable makes them a much better alternative whilst still providing all the benefits plastic typically does.

5. Concentrate on reducing plastic usage

A final consideration is potentially to change the way you buy your cleaning chemicals. If you buy ready to use cleaning solutions, you may want to consider buying concentrates and making your own solutions. The premise behind this is that ready to use options generate more plastic than concentrates on account of having a shorter product life. If you buy ready to use options in bulk then once you have finished one spray bottle you discard it and open the next one. With concentrates however, you only need one spray bottle which you fill with a small amount of concentrate (usually specified on the bottle) and add water. This prevents the continual discarding of empty spray bottles and the need to purchase more, more regularly.

In the long run concentrates are both economically and environmentally more advantageous. Two great concentrate systems are Diversey’s SmartDose and Divermite. Another great option is Bio D‘s range of concentrates which also benefit from being an environmentally friendly option.

Naturally there are numerous other options available to help you go plastic free this July and indeed you don’t necessarily need to go plastic free, just try and actively reduce the plastic waste you produce. For the hospitality and food service industry this can be difficult sometimes which is why on top of this advice, we at Alliance Online promote an eco-shop on our website along with an environmentally conscious guide. The aim of the guide is to suggest products which can be swapped for current items to help you achieve your business green goals. For more information please feel free to contact us on 0844 844 4300 or email us at Equally, you can find your local Alliance Depot and request a meeting with one of our local reps.

Support Plastic Free July with these Plastic Free top tips
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Support Plastic Free July with these Plastic Free top tips
As July approaches, so does the international campaign Plastic Free July. At Alliance Online we believe companies should make a conscious effort to be as environmentally friendly as possible so have put together the following tips to help hospitality businesses get onboard with Plastic Free July.
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Alliance Online
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