This Recycling Week (Recycle Now’s annual event), Compass Group UK & Ireland is demonstrating its environmental commitments, by announcing Steamplicity’s closed loop recycling system for its trays.
Steamplicity meals, created by chefs and nutritionists, are served at over 20 NHS hospitals throughout the UK. It uses a unique steam system, which cooks fresh and raw ingredients in under five minutes, meaning that nutritional value is maximised, alongside offering flexibility and consistency.
The Steamplicity team has been trialling innovative packaging systems for over a year and is now ready to roll out its new circular recycling system. Steamplicity trays will be manufactured in a different type of plastic, making it easier to recycle, and will ensure all the plastic trays used are returned to a dedicated recycling plant. This circular programme ensures that the products are cleaned and broken down into flakes, to make into new trays again and again. This will see the use of virgin plastic reduced by an estimated 244 tonnes a year.
Steve Cenci, MD - Healthcare, Compass Group UK & Ireland said: "We're the first to bring this to the NHS hospitals for pre-prepared meals and it'll be used for over 5 million meals every year - seeing the need for virgin plastic reduced significantly. This new initiative will support our Net Zero agenda, as well as helping our partner hospitals become more sustainable.
"We all know the bigger picture of how detrimental plastics are on the world - so this is a crucial move in our climate agenda and will pave the way, making positive change in our battle against plastics."
Steamplicity is proven to reduce food waste – typical health setting food waste levels run at over 10%, with Steamplicity reducing waste to below 2.5% of the meal served. The steam cook technology also means less energy is used at site level, plus the menus are becoming more sustainable with a focus on increasing plant forward options.
Our Climate Promise and Roadmap to Net Zero provide more detail on Compass Group UK & Ireland’s strategy to create a sustainable food system. This includes a promise to use 100% reusable or recyclable packaging by 2023. Compass is part of the Courtauld Commitment 2030 and the UK Plastics Pact.