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Waste Management in the Food Retail & Grocery Sector

11 April 2022

When it comes to transporting and selling food products, it’s vital to protect the integrity of the food. Often this protection comes in the form of plastic and cardboard.

This non-organic waste is nearly always recyclable – but sometimes the sheer quantity of recycling that needs to be done becomes unmanageable for the retailer – and unfortunately some of it ends up in landfill.

When it comes to recycling, we all have the opportunity to do better, and better waste management practices is an area where many food retailers and grocers can begin. Because we’ve helped so many food retailers (from small corner shops right up to large international food chains) improve their waste management, we’re delighted to share some benefits we’ve seen and tips to get you started.

Tips to improve waste management in your food retail business

(1) Ultimately the easiest way to reduce cardboard or plastic waste is to try eliminate it completely. Of course this isn’t always possible, but retailers should look for areas to reduce it. Can you ask your suppliers if they really need to use all of the packaging that they currently do? Are there other ways to reduce the amount of packaging that comes to you?

(2) Have the correct waste disposal bins in your storeroom. Having segregated bins for waste at each source of waste around your premises helps hugely in an effort to separate recycling from other materials.

(3) Install and use waste balers for cardboard, plastic, glass, and other materials. We have a wide range of waste balers suitable for small businesses up to industrial sized machines. If a capital investment isn’t feasible for your business, consider a flexible waste baler rental agreement.

(4) Provide recycling training to all staff. Make recycling a way of life, an ethos, at your business.

(5) Consider offering your customers reverse vending machines, which allow users to return recyclable waste such as empty cans in return for an incentive.

Ultimately all of these options are available to you as a food retailer, whether you are small or large. As a bonus point, alongside the environmental benefits, undertaking these simple steps will also save you money. In fact, some of our food retailer customers are actually making money by selling recycling bales! You could too.

Every grocery business is different, so if you want to discuss your unique needs and waste management challenges, just get in touch – our grocery experts will be happy to impart their wisdom and offer you a free site audit if you wish.

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