Food Waste Bans: Are You Prepared?

Food Waste Bans: Are You Prepared?

By Laura Abshire, Foodable Industry Expert

Laws that regulate food waste disposal seem to be popping up with more frequency. From California to Connecticut and several places in between, a number of states and cities have implemented mandates on how restaurants can and can’t dispose leftover or wasted food.

So what’s behind this effort to combat food waste? There are a few motivators: 

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Don’t Throw Money Away: Compostable vs. Recyclable Packaging

Don’t Throw Money Away: Compostable vs. Recyclable Packaging

By Laura Abshire, Foodable Industry Expert

Sustainability efforts continue to be one of the distinguishing factors that can make a restaurant stand out from the crowd amidst the constant battle for diners and their dollars.

Customers are increasingly interested in restaurants’ sustainable practices and your choice of packaging in your restaurant can be a great way to communicate your values and goals to them. After all, one of the most consumer-facing parts of your business is your packaging. However, with so many choices today, it can be hard to know what kind is best for your business.  

Understanding the Difference

Sustainable packaging often means different things to different people. For example, it could refer to the materials themselves and whether the packaging is made from recycled content or fiber. But it could also refer to what happens to the packaging after it’s been used and whether it’s recyclable or compostable.  

Recyclable refers to whether the packaging can be collected through a recycling program to be made into a new product. Use of the term “recyclable” by itself without any qualifying language also requires that recycling facilities must be available to a substantial majority of the consumers where the item is sold. 

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Waste Not, Want Not: 5 Tips to Reduce Food Waste

Waste Not, Want Not: 5 Tips to Reduce Food Waste

By Laura Abshire, Foodable Industry Expert

For restaurateurs who practice sustainability, the issue of food waste has become a very hot topic recently. In fact, food waste reduction — for the first time ever this year — made the list of top 10 trends on the National Restaurant Association’s 2015 What's Hot Culinary Forecast.

The buzz around food waste certainly is warranted. According to the Department of Agriculture, more than one-third of all food produced globally is wasted. In the United States alone, the agency estimates about 30 to 40 percent of the food supply ends up going to the landfill.

At the same time, more and more consumers want to support restaurants that align with their own values. And one of those values is the idea of reducing waste, whether it is waste of resources, packaging, or the most important restaurant ingredient: food. 

But even though they want to do it, reducing food waste often is challenging for restaurants. To make it a little easier, here are five tips operators can use to begin the journey. 

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Conserve — Low-Cost Ways to Make Your Restaurant More Sustainable

On this NRA Special Report, brought to you by the Foodable Network, Host Rudy Miick is joined by Jeff Clark, program director of NRA’s Conserve program, and Laura Abshire, director of sustainability policy and government affairs. The Conserve Program focuses on sustainability efforts and ideas for restaurants, a topic that has become more widespread throughout the past few years, even for mom-and-pop restaurants.

Watch the full episode to learn how restaurants can become more sustainable without having to make a huge investment, how to measure leaks to determine savings, and what other resources operators should tap into to maximize efficiency of sustainability efforts.