White Compass Logo

We have saved 31 tonnes of PVC plastic usage - the equivalent of over 5,200 miles


Blog Ashleigh Taylor, Head of Environment – Compass Group UK & Ireland

As part of our Climate Net Zero by 2030 commitment, we are working to reduce and eliminate unnecessary single-use plastic and packaging usage and waste from our operations - identifying and replacing these items with suitable, sustainable alternatives.

When it comes to eliminating and reducing our plastic and packaging usage and waste, the challenges are significant. With recovery and recycling, solutions simply don’t yet exist for many of the materials we use. For example, packaging with food contamination must be discarded as general waste and sent for incineration, no matter the material type. To this end, we’re constantly working with our waste management partners to find solutions for hard-to-recycle items. We’re also investigating and testing innovative sustainably sourced bio-based materials, including bamboo, palm leaf and seaweed.

During 2023 we worked with Bunzl Catering Supplies and our procurement division Foodbuy, to help the business minimise the use of PVC cling film by introducing reusable containers and lids as alternatives.

This has been challenging - the removal of cling film is not always operationally viable, in addition to the fact that cling film has unique properties that play an important role in the reduction of food waste, which is why Bunzl Catering Supplies introduced and recommended PE cling film. Unlike PVC cling film, PE cling film is 100% recyclable*, it is also plasticizer and BPA free, suitable for wrapping all food types, and can be used in the fridge, freezer and microwave.

We are very proud that from June 2023, all PVC cling film in Compass Group UK&I has been replaced with either reusable containers and lids or PE cling film, reducing PVC plastic usage by over 31 tonnes since 2022; the equivalent of over 5,200 miles. This really is a really significant step forward in minimising our plastic usage, without compromising on using a product with all the relevant properties needed to keep food fresh and healthy. Packaging and plastics will be a continued area of focus for the year ahead, as we make progress on our sustainability commitments.


For more information on our Net Zero commitments visit - compassuk_i_climatereport_final_2022023.pdf (compass-group.co.uk)


 *PE cling film is not widely recycled and is dependent on contamination levels and local recycling facilities. Future Government plans include making PE cling film a core material for waste management companies to collect and recycle. The switch from PVC to PE is in anticipation of this.

31 tonnes of PVC plastic usage has been saved