Pubs and bars face many of the same waste issues as other businesses, for example dealing with packaging from delivered goods, but there are also specific challenges to deal with – from disposing of broken pint glasses, to kitchen waste if your establishment serves food. Find out more about pub and bar waste, below:
Minimising pub and bar waste means tackling every area in which you currently generate avoidable waste, so begin by running a comprehensive audit of everything that makes it into your recycling bins, your outdoor skips, and anywhere else you store waste ready for collection.
In terms of packaging waste, you might be surprised at the potential to reduce the total mass of packaging you throw away; lighter, more eco-friendly materials can reduce this weight directly, while it is even better to switch to reusable trays, boxes and crates if your suppliers are able to do so.
Your existing waste management contractor might be able to help you identify the materials you discard the most of; for example, they might already have data showing how much glass they collect from your premises, as opposed to plastic, paper and food waste.
Create bar waste audits
If not, then run regular waste audits, with separate recycling bins for each type of waste. Measure these in relevant ways – either volume or weight – and record the data ready to repeat the measurements in several months’ time, so that you can track your ongoing progress.
This is beneficial not just in helping you to identify particular types of waste that you can reduce your levels of, but also making sure you have enough recycling bins of each type – preventing staff from putting waste into the wrong bin when the right one is full, and waste management companies from refusing to take away a dangerously overfilled bin.
You might think there is little you can do to reduce the number of ’empties’ you throw away, but bars and pubs in particular have a much better opportunity to do this than, for example, most restaurants do.
Encourage customers to buy draught drinks, whether that means beer, draught wine, or even soft drinks that might otherwise be served in cans or glass bottles; draught drinks often produce little to no bar waste that cannot be directly recycled by the supplier, or in the case of the glass in which the beverage is served, it can simply be washed and reused for the next customer.
Preparation is important
Finally, if you serve food, adopt resource-efficient preparation and storage practices, and you will improve your profit percentage on each meal as well as cutting the amount of ingredients you throw away; offer doggy bags to customers who do not finish their meals, and you shift the responsibility for disposal on to them too.
You might want to offer more ‘light bites’ on your menu, catering for customers who are not so hungry, and this has multiple benefits too, from health concerns like a calorie-controlled diet, to efficient use of ingredients and reduction of food waste, to a chance for improved profitability by taking a greater margin on these low-cost dishes.