Trash Talk: What Does Zero Waste Mean?

Find out what zero waste really means with Takeaway Packaging. Make a positive change for Zero Waste Week this year (6th – 10th September 2021).

Our current economy is incredibly wasteful. Millions of tonnes of food, packaging and other waste are sent directly to landfills every year, creating innumerable environmental issues and squandering the world’s finite resources. It doesn’t have to be this way.

This year, as part of Zero Waste Week, we’re promoting the zero waste movement to help individuals and businesses become more aware of wasteful practices and improve sustainability. So what does zero waste mean, and how can you make a difference?

What Does Zero Waste Mean?

In plain English, zero waste means that absolutely no waste is sent to landfills. A more detailed definition of zero waste comes from the
Zero Waste International Alliance
: “the conservation of all resources by means of responsible production, consumption, reuse, and recovery of products, packaging, and materials without burning and with no discharges to land, water, or air that threaten the environment or human health”.

That’s a bit of a mouthful, but it essentially means that businesses and consumers must adopt a more conservative and eco-friendly approach to protect the environment and our well-being. Fortunately, zero waste principles can be implemented widely across the food and drinks industry, from reducing and eliminating food waste to using responsibly sourced packaging that can be reused, recycled or composted. So how can you kickstart your journey towards a more eco-friendly future?

What Is Zero Waste Week and How Do You Take Part?

Launched in 2008,Zero Waste Week is an annual, week-long campaign that aims to raise awareness about the environmental impact of waste. With over 80 participating countries, it’s a global movement that has inspired millions to act more sustainably. No matter the scale of your operation, everyone is welcome to take part and reduce the amount of waste that’s sent to landfill.

While it only runs for seven days of the year, the goal is to encourage more businesses and consumers to adopt a more conservative and strategic approach to waste management the whole year round. So why should you consider changing how your business operates?

Why Is Zero Waste Important?

At present, the UK generates approximately 9.5 million tonnes of food waste a year. Households are accountable for 69% of this waste, but the hospitality and food sector is responsible for around 10% of the total waste created — nearly one million tonnes of waste. What’s worse is that much of this food waste is perfectly edible at the time when it was thrown away.

There are some equally shocking fast-food packaging waste statistics too, from the lack of recycling of oil-based plastic packaging to the amount of packaging waste that’s littered. This makes it all the more important that businesses rapidly change their approach before we end up with an environmental disaster. 

How to Achieve a Zero Waste Status

Whether you’re a street-food vendor or a restaurant, a coffee house or a bar, you can optimise your takeaway business to reduce non-recyclable food packaging waste and support Zero Waste Week. If you’re looking to start your journey towards a zero waste future and contribute to a circular economy, the best place to start is with a waste audit of your business:

Step 1: Take note of all of the ingredients, packaging and other items that are consumed or thrown away for a week.

Step 2: Review your findings to make your operations more eco-friendly. There’s always room for improvement!

Step 3: Implement changes in your business and inspire others to do the same. Saving the planet is a joint effort, after all.

Whether you swap out your plastic packaging for more eco-friendly packaging, start reducing your food waste with apps like Too Good To Go or promote Zero Waste Week with branded packaging, small changes make a big difference.

Eliminating Waste with Takeaway Packaging

At Takeaway Packaging, we’re doing everything we can to minimise and eliminate waste. We’ve developed packaging that can be reused, recycled and disposed of ecologically to help you secure a more sustainable future for everybody. Our responsibly sourced packaging products are made from natural, high-quality materials that keep your food fresh and help to minimise food waste. Make a positive change this year for Zero Waste Week with our expert assistance and awesome eco-friendly packaging.

Want to take part in Zero Waste Week this year? Get a free design quote from our in-house design team, or check out our online shop for green packaging that will help you achieve your zero waste goals.