This week is International Zero Waste week, and as a such an ideal time for our business to take stock of what we are doing to reduce waste, and more importantly to review ways in which we can do better.
What do we mean by operating zero waste? For us it’s reducing what we are sending to lanfill, it’s about resusing as much as we can, and it’s about composting. It’s about buying less but better, reducing our plastic use, and it’s about thinking of ways in which we can operate in a circular economy.
Here are a few things we are doing to reduce our waste:
-Selling resuable products in our shops; ecocups to encourage people to ditch the disposables; and cotton produce bags for our loose fruit and veg
-Discounted price for hot drinks when using a resuable cup
-Selling loose produce in bulk to encourage plastic-free shopping; from UK-grown grains and pulses, to fruit and veg from our favourite organic farms
-Reusing any surplus food; for example we’re brewing Kvass using surplus rye bread. And if we have any leftover bits of dough from our daily bakes, our bakers mix them together into one loaf for our staff lunches – our much loved speckled “bowlmeal” loaf. Our pancakes are made with buttermilk leftover from butter making, and our banana bread and flatbreads have both been enriched with heated milk leftover when making coffees
-Composting what we can; our coffee grounds and bran from the mill are composted at our farm in Suffolk
-We use biodegradable and compostable takeaway packaging
-We’re happy to be part of the Refill London campaign, to encourage people to come and refil their water bottles with our tap water
-Encouraging staff to consider every process; we have a channel on our internal communications app Slack, dedicated entirely to zero waste and ideas of how we can improve as a business
This is just a snapshot and we know there is more we can do. We’d love to hear any ideas for more ways in which we can reduce our waste, for example we’re currently considering about how we can reduce the amount of packaging we use for our takeaway coffees and lunches.
Could we phase out takeaway packaging entirely and only offer takeaways for customers with reusable cups?
Could we move to serving our takeaway lunches in tiffin tins, so they can be reused again and again?
We’d love to hear your thoughts.