Reduce, reuse, recycle

The issues 

Along with the rest of society, sweet gastronomy has increasingly adopted a relaxed attitude towards disposables, from plastic piping bags to plastic wrap, customer packaging to aprons. A lot of this is plastic but there are also large quantities of paper, card and foil, much of which is used once and then dispatched to landfill.  

Why it matters

Reducing the amount of single-use materials is essential and should be your first priority when it comes to waste. Not only is the lifespan of these products short, they are also often made from non-renewable sources. We need to move away from a make, take, dispose linear economy towards a circular economy model, where reducing, reusing and recycling are the aims, and in that order. Not only will this reduce waste that is sent to landfill, but it can also save you money.  

Top tips to Reduce, reuse and recycle

  • Identify any areas where single-use materials can be removed and / or replaced with re-usable alternatives 

Get inspired by our contributors

Some will have concerns about loss and breakages, but even for large events I have found the costs of using reusable items, such as glass verrines or metal tableware, to be less than that of using disposables. Also, for take-out offers, reusable items such as glass jars can give a premium feel for very little extra cost over a plastic equivalent. This proves we can save costs as well as saving the planet!

Pastry Chef 
L’Ecole Valrhona 
Northern Europe 

We have set up a returnable deposit scheme for our reusable glass takeaway containers. Over the past year we have seen changes in customer behavior because of this. While some customers found this difficult and were at first a bit reticent about these new ways of doing things, we believe you have to push people sometimes to change and help them adopt new habits. Today, our customers support our approach and many even bring their own containers to the shop. Alongside this we also offer containers made from bamboo pulp, as well as reusable steel cutlery.

Pastry Chef & Owner
Liber Art
Annecy, France