Sodexo in the UK and Ireland has banned the purchase of all plastic straws and stirrers, and committed to phase out single use plastic bags and polystyrene foam items such as cups, lids and food containers by 2020.
As a company that promises to improve the quality of life of people, corporate responsibility lies at the core of everything Sodexo does. Sodexo acknowledges that waste is one of its biggest collective challenges. Through its Better Tomorrow 2025 corporate responsibility roadmap Sodexo has identified waste as one of areas it wants to make significant progress and in the UK and Ireland has made a commitment to ensure 70% of its waste is recycled or reused by 2020, rising to 90% by 2025.
Edwina Hughes, Corporate Responsibility Director, Sodexo UK & Ireland says, “We accept that the challenge single use plastics presents is large, and we will continue to scrutinise their use in our business and how we manage the waste to ensure we are doing all we can to reduce the impact of our operations on the environment.
“Prevention is a key step in addressing this issue and we will always endeavour to prevent waste where we can. However, where disposables are still necessary we will encourage the use of an environmentally friendly alternative. Any improvements we can make, we will make.
“This will not only help us meet our environmental targets but more importantly, it will go some way to reduce the impact plastic is having on the environment.
“Action is critical to ensure that we do as much as we can to improve the quality of life of future generations, which is why our work in this area does not stop here. Looking to the future, we are working towards a situation where all our packaging is widely recycled.”
This latest move builds on its work on reducing the volume of single use plastics. Last year Sodexo became a supply chain member of the Simply Cups scheme, the UK’s only collection and recycling service dedicated to turning paper and plastic cups into second-life material. Sodexo’s customers can soon buy the innovative rCup, a reusable cup made from used disposal cups treated by Simply Cups. Together Sodexo and Simply Cups are increasing the number of cups and lids that can have a second life.
Since March 2018 all Sodexo outlets have been able to accept any brand of reusable coffee cup and in some contracts already offer price reductions and levies to encourage a behavioural change from using disposable to reusable cups.