In an effort to reduce plastic waste, food and facilities management group Aramark has committed to significantly reducing the use of single-use disposable plastics across its global operations by 2022.
Starting in September, Aramark will implement changes across 19 countries, including the UK and Ireland where it serves over 110 million meals a year in over 1,100 workplaces, sports and leisure venues, hospitals, universities and more. Aramark’s size and reach provide an opportunity to minimise environmental impact in hundreds of locations and communities across the UK and Ireland.
The announcement is part of a holistic strategy to address single-use plastics overall, starting with the most visible category of straws, cups and soup containers offering reusable products and encouraging consumers to consider biodegradable alternatives.
Already Aramark has removed over 410,000 straws from UK sites and is in the process of removing 418,000 straws from client locations in Ireland by December 2018. Similarly, it has replaced approximately 5 million plastic lined coffee cups and soup containers with a fully compostable product. Beyond this, it plans to reduce the use of any single-use plastics such as bags, forks, and knives and expand offerings with reusable containers and bags.
Frank Gleeson, region president, Northern Europe said: “We are absolutely committed to reducing single-use plastic wherever possible. The world is changing at a rapid rate and urgent actions are required to meet the sustainability challenges we are facing. We want to promote best practice and by responding and acting quickly to remove plastic straws and containers from all of our restaurants, I believe we can make a difference in the use of unnecessary plastic and make the restaurant and hospitality industry more sustainable and environmentally friendly.”
Lawerence Shirazian, managing director food services Ireland, explained: “By working hand-in-hand with our customers, we can make significant progress in limiting the consumption of single-use plastics by reducing waste before it happens. This action provides an opportunity to make meaningful achievements in minimising our environmental impact, while continuing to deliver experiences that enrich and nourish lives”.