A great way restaurants can reduce waste is by donating any uneaten food to homeless shelters, or by collecting it for compost. Pret a Manger is a great example of this, and this kind of recycling initiatives are very important. According to the Municipal Solid Waste Report, the United States generates more than 34 million tons of food waste each year. In 2009, only 1 million tons of waste was recycled – hardly a dent! The problem with food waste is that it releases methane gas into our atmosphere when it decomposes, especially when it decomposes in containers that prevent oxidation. Methane gas is extremely harmful to the environment because it can be up to 21 times more powerful than carbon dioxide in contributing to greenhouse gases. Cities can employ recycling and composting programs to help with reducing methane gas emissions caused by decaying food waste. In 2009, the City of San Francisco became the first city to ban throwing food waste in the regular trash. Instead, bins are provided specifically for food waste, which are then collected by the city and sold to vineyards and fams in the local area.
Two things they could also do are keep track of food popularity in order to order more accurate amounts of food to decrease over-ordering and give away food at the end of the night. If there is leftover cooked food, the restaurant could either give it to their employees or just hand it out. There’s a pizza restaurant next to my school that hands out leftovers every night. It’s a good way of reducing waste and making people happy.
Dealing with food waste is definitely a big priority for restaurants, and, as lola14 said, composting and donating food are two great ways to deal with that without throwing away food. Recycling and reusing can also be big for restaurants in dealing with inorganic waste. Places can creative. At a bakery/lunch place I went to recently in rural Vermont, the flowers at every table were in Snapple bottles.
Here are some things McDonald’s restaurants have done the following in their green effort: – Eliminated 150,000 tons of McDonald’s packaging by redesigning or reducing the amount of material used to make straws, napkins, sandwich packaging, cups, french fry containers and numerous other items. – Purchased more than $3 billion worth of products made from recycled materials for use in the operation and construction of McDonald’s restaurants. These goods include construction blocks, booster seats, tables, trays, roof tiles, bags and many other quality products made from recycled glass, rubber, plastic and paper. – Recycled more than 1 million tons of corrugated cardboard, the most commonly used material for shipping products to McDonald’s 12,500 restaurants in the U.S., decreasing restaurant waste by 30%.
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