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Waste Reduction Tips for Supermarkets & Grocery Stores

Grocery stores generate significant amounts of cardboard, food waste and plastic. While much of this waste is unavoidable in the day-to-day running of these businesses, many business owners in the UK are looking for a solution to disposing of these materials that is cost effective and environmentally friendly.

According to a London Times study, while 40% of materials in customers’ shopping carts is not recyclable, 75-85% of the waste generated by the supermarkets themselves is compostable or recyclable. However, just because these materials can be recycled doesn’t mean they are being disposed of correctly, and failure to do so can be bad for the environment and costly to your business.

So what can grocery stores & supermarkets do to aid in recycling and waste reduction efforts? We have put together a few simple ways your supermarket can go above and beyond to ensure you are meeting your profit margins and not generating additional waste (which will incur extra fees in the long run).

Sort your Waste

Within businesses like supermarkets and grocery stores, there are many areas that provide opportunities for recycling, both front and back of house. In order to maximise your savings and minimize your footprint, be sure to identify the specific types of waste that are generated in each area, and make sure that staff not only have access to the proper bins but are also trained to know what goes where.

In delivery areas and warehouses, for example, make sure staff have access to well-designated bins that are large enough to hold a significant amount of waste. Waste balers can be useful in this regard, as they are able to compact the contents in order to create room for additional waste throughout the day.

In front-of-house spaces like food counters, which generate both food waste and recyclable materials, set up multiple disposal points that are clearly labelled so that busy, customer-focused staff don’t need to go far to correctly dispose of waste. Increasing ease of access to recycling bins will help to ensure they are used consistently and properly.

Get customers involved in your recycling efforts

Customers are an often-overlooked area in the recycling efforts of companies such as grocers and supermarkets. However, getting your customers involved in your recycling efforts will not only help you to reduce your waste, but will also signal to your clientele that you are serious about your environmental impact and may encourage them to do the same at home.

Place well-marked, visible and accessible recycling bins around your premises for your customers’ use. If they have to go looking for a place to get rid of their bottles or packaging, they are more likely to end up in the wrong receptacle.

Supermarkets are also beginning to make use of financial incentives to recycle such as Reverse Vending Machines, which can offer customers a small coupon in return for each recycled item. This not only shows your customers that you are serious about helping them in their own efforts to go green, but also encourages them to return to your shop more often to make use of their voucher.

Find out where your waste goes

When choosing the right waste company for your business, look carefully at the company’s values and practices to be certain they are meeting your eco-friendly standards. Most environmentally-friendly waste disposal companies will even work with you to come up with solutions to maximise recycling and minimise waste, saving you money in the long run.

In addition, recycling your waste is often cheaper than general waste disposal and can even earn you money in some places. Although prices fluctuate, recycling mills can pay up to £60 per tonne for dry, baled cardboard.

What’s good for the environment is good for your business

It is becoming increasingly important for businesses in the UK to become more efficient when it comes to recycling and waste disposal; however, it is also becoming increasingly easy to do so. Taking the time to understand, analyse and change your business’ waste management and recycling practices will help you achieve this goal, and using eco-friendly methods such as balers can save both time and money.

Need some help getting started? Contact our team to request a quote and find out how a baler can make your work easier, your business greener and your wallet bigger!

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As the UK’s leading waste baler specialist, LSM supplies shops, garden centres, hotels,
hardware stores, farm shops etc. with waste solutions for various recyclable materials
including cardboard, paper and plastics etc.