World Environment Day: Putting our plastic plan into practice

Posted on 5 June 2018

Following the announcement of our new plastic waste reduction policy last month, we’re thrilled to announce that as of this month, we’re now putting into practice the plans that we laid out during Green Office Week.

With this week marking both World Environment Day (Tuesday 5 June) and World Oceans Day (Friday 8 June), we’re proud to be doing our bit for the planet, continuing to champion environmental causes and improving our sustainability as a business.

Here are a few of the changes we’ve put in place:

1) Coffee Cups

Traditional single-use coffee cups combine plastic and paper elements, making them difficult to recycle. Our new plant-based coffee cups are 100% biodegradable, made using renewable and/or recycled materials with no plastic content whatsoever, including their compostable, heat-resistant lids.

2) Straws

Disposable plastic straws have come under considerable fire in recent campaigns for waste reduction. Under our new eco-friendly policy, straws will be removed from the bars in an attempt to reduce usage altogether. Those requiring a straw will still be able to request one from bar staff, however, who will be happy to offer a new fully compostable straw made from plant-based PLA.

3) Pint & half-pint drinks cups, smoothie & frappe cups

It’s not just coffee drinkers who’ll be able to enjoy a guilt-free drink at the Belgrade. Clear plastic cups in all sizes are also being replaced with new biodegradable versions, made from sustainable, compostable materials from renewable, low carbon-footprint sources.

4) Salad Bowls

Just like the plastic cups, the transparent plastic salad bowls currently on offer in our café will also be replaced with sustainable, biodegradable containers.

5) Takeaway boxes & bags

In a rush? Don’t worry – you can still enjoy snacks and meals without worrying about the waste thanks to our new Bagasse-based takeaway boxes and bags. Made from recycled sugarcane, this versatile new material is not only 100% compostable, microwave and freezer safe, it also contains an amazing 99% less embodied carbon than plastic or polystyrene.

Kids’ lunches are covered too: from now on, they’ll be packaged in brown bags, with labels coated in a water-based, compostable adhesive.

6) Cutlery

Our new takeaway cutlery is not just compostable – it also contains 90% less embodied carbon than plastic, and 51% less carbon than new PLA.

7) Food Preparation Gloves

All of our food prep gloves will be made from a biodegradable, fine blue PLA for hygienic food handling.

8) Bin Liners

In place of standard plastic bin bags, we’re switching over to recycled polythene black liners. We’re also reducing bin liner usage by emptying several bins out into a larger bags, rather than lining multiple bins and frequently replacing the bags.

9) Milk Cartons

Instead of individual two-litre milk cartons, our catering staff will now be purchasing milk in purgals – large, 24-pint boxes that can be placed directly into a machine for pouring into reusable jugs.

This new strategy forms part of a wider commitment to improving sustainability and caring for the environment. Introduced in 2008, our Striving to be Green project has involved the establishment of an in-house Green Team, including a representative from each department. In addition to the key points outlined above, every department will now be looking into ways of reducing its own plastic consumption.

More information about the Belgrade’s eco-friendly policies can be found here.