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Recycling in your bar: the benefits and how to get started

Recycling has been considered a difficult and expensive pursuit in the hospitality industry, so is it worth doing in your bar? In this video, Bob Gordon of the Zero Carbon Forum discusses why it’s of benefit to your bar and how to get started.

Why is Recycling Important for Your Bar with Bob Gordon

The Benefits of Recycling

Being environmentally conscious is something all businesses should be actively practicing and an easy way to do this is by recycling appropriate materials. Recycling has heaps of positive benefits that can directly impact your bar.

1.The environmental benefits:

Arguably the most important factor when considering recycling in your bar is the environmental impact. No less than 2.12 bn tonnes of waste are deposited across the world annually. By doing your bit and recycling materials like plastic, glass, and aluminium, you can save a significant amount of energy. For example, manufacturing recycled aluminium uses 95% less energy than traditional aluminium in production – an easy win for sustainable practices.

2. The cost benefits

Recycling is worth it for every business in the hospitality industry as it can reduce costs with waste disposal by up to 30%!

There is also a global demand for high-quality materials like paper and cardboard. These are expected to grow by 1.2 percent a year meaning you can make a profit by selling your recyclable waste to companies who are searching for it.

Top Tip: A simple Google search of your area can reveal businesses willing to buy and pick up your recycled products.

3. The image benefits: for staff and customers

The public are becoming more and more conscious of recycling. The Harvard Business Review Foundation found that 90% of millennials expect businesses to embrace sustainability, showing this is more than just a trend.

Having a recycling programme in place can not only promote a positive company image by helping you to become a waste free venue, but it can also greatly influence customer's purchasing – attracting or deterring people to your bar.

This rings true for employees as well, as research shows that eco-friendly workspaces promote staff engagement and raise productivity and morale.

So, now that you know the benefits of recycling in your bar, let’s explore how you can get started.

How to Recycle in Your Bar

Recycling in businesses has never been simpler. Here are five easy ways that you can begin the process of recycling in your bar and start to generate positive change:

1.  Carry Out a Waste Audit

A waste audit is performed to work out how much waste your business is producing. This allows you to identify what materials you’re regularly disposing of, plus areas that need improvement.

Once you’ve done it, look at where you can reduce your waste in areas like packaging.

Top Tip: Consider replacing your straws from single-use plastic to paper or bamboo.

2. Find a Recycling Contractor

Some countries have councils that sort recycled material for businesses. If this isn’t available to you, you can find a recycling waste contractor to pick up your waste materials.

After carrying out an audit, you’ll be able to identify when you’ll need the contractor to pick up your materials and how much waste you produce over a given time period.

You’ll also be able to identify what contractor works best for you, as some might not recycle the specific materials you need removed from your premises.

3. Use recycling containers

Once you’ve completed your audit, you’ll be able to determine what recycling containers you need and where you should position them on site. Do you need them inside and outside? Think about where your employees create most waste and place them there.

It’s important to consider health and safety here as well, particularly for food waste and composting. Store these types of containers somewhere accessible but somewhere that’s hygienic and encourages good food safety standards.

Top Tip: If you’re storing recycling containers back of house, make sure they can be reached by contractors or councils that you’ve arranged to dispose of them.

4. ENGAGE and Train Your Staff

Getting your staff involved in your recycling scheme is crucial for its success. Ensure they have been trained correctly on why they are recycling and how they can do it well.

To help the process, there are a few things you can do:

Top Tip: Appoint a ‘Green Champion’ who can keep up-to-date with recycling initiatives and provide feedback to the rest of your team.

5. Upcycle Materials in Your Bar

A cost-effective way to upgrade décor is by upcycling materials within your bar. Make your items go the extra mile. For example:

Five Key Takeaways:

  1. Recycling has clear benefits for your bar that aren’t just environmental. It can reduce costs, increase profit margins, and creates a good business image.
  2. Do a waste audit to work out how much waste your bar produces.
  3. Find a recycling contractor that can take away your recycling if you don’t belong to a council that collects it for you.
  4. Think about what recycling containers you need and where you’re going to store them
  5. Ensure that you involve your staff and train them to understand the importance of recycling and minimising waste.