Waste Not Want Not
Offering caterers a cost-effective onsite solution for the eco disposal of food and packaging waste
What happens when compostable waste collection services are not offered in your postcode? It's an all to common problem and one that can leave food and drink providers feeling stuck between a rock a hard place. Could it be time to sidestep commercial operators and close the loop onsite? With this in mind, we're very excited to announce that we have teamed up with innovative waste solutions provider PRM Waste Systems, to offer caterers an easy, ecological and cost-effective means for the disposal of food and packaging waste without leaving your own premises. This closed loop solution sidesteps landfill as well as the waste collection services that may or may not be offered in any given area, offering food and drink providers complete autonomy over their businesses waste.
Planglow’s managing director John Scott commented: “The UKs waste infrastructure leaves a lot to be desired. So while many food and drink providers are striving to reduce their carbon footprint by introducing compostables in place of single-use plastics, they are then finding that appropriate collection services are not available and that much of their waste is still being directed to landfill or incineration. However, by introducing a bio processing unit onsite, the provider is no longer at the mercy of this patchy - at best - infrastructure and is able to gain complete autonomy over their own waste. This not only helps to save the food provider money on waste collection services but also reduces associated vehicle movements. We estimate that purchasing or leasing a unit from PRM represents a cost advantage for most businesses, what’s more, this provides a solution to everyone regardless of the waste collection services available in their area”.
How Does It Work?
PRM have developed a range of bio processing units about the same size as a large wheelie bin or skip. The units break food and compostable packaging down into a digestate (soil enricher), which may then be used to grow more crops or to produce a supplementary biomass fuel. Optionally, if the producer has no use for the digestate, their food and packaging waste will be reduced in volume by around 80% and can be sent to an anaerobic digestion (AD) plant.
What Are the Benefits?
PRMs units are so effective that they can reduce food and packaging waste by up to 80% over a 24 hour period. They LOVE compostable packaging too as it improves the structure of the digestate by introducing more oxygen into the mix. What’s more, where most waste collection operators accept a mix of around 25% packaging waste maximum (with 75% food waste), PRM’s units can process up to a 40% mix of packaging waste in one go. In fact, when PRM tested Planglow’s products, they reported decomposition as “Unprecedented and beyond expectations” and even at a volume of 75% packaging waste they found near-complete degradation after 17 hours.
- No waste collection services required – everything is done onsite offering a more cost-effective, closed-loop solution.
- No need to separate waste – compostable packaging and food waste all goes in together.
- Depending on the waste your business produces, the end product (digestate) could be used as a fertiliser or a biomass fuel. It may also be sent to a biorefinery (to be turned into energy) or used in compost production.
- Even if your catering operation can’t use digestate onsite (you might not have access to a garden or other outside space), both the volume of waste and the frequency of collections required will be much reduced, further driving down costs.
Brian Moore, managing director at PRM commented: “After extensive trials of food waste with various mixes of Planglow’s packaging, we were delighted with the results. We knew the Bio-Processor was able to reduce food waste up to 80% in 24hours but we were expecting the processing time to increase with the addition of Planglow’s material. Surprisingly after 24 hours, no packaging was readily distinguishable.”
While eco collections are offered in some regions, much of the UK is still without commercial services therefore, processing waste onsite remains the only way to ensure packaging and food waste are dealt with responsibly. PRM offers a range of bio unit sizes that are available to lease or purchase. Planglow are also looking to connect businesses that may want to share a unit to save on storage or where perhaps one business alone does not produce enough waste to merit a unit for their sole usage.
The Bio-Processor has been designed and manufactured at PRM’s site in Somerset, using only parts sourced from the UK. With the issue of food waste such a concern, PRM Waste Systems were eager to provide a solution to this nation-wide challenge as MD Brian Moore explained, “Being a provider of turn-key waste solutions, we were aware that we could help to ‘close the loop’ by making food waste a focus. Food waste is becoming a financial burden to businesses, who are also becoming increasingly concerned with their carbon footprint. I was keen to be able to provide not just a reduction in waste volume but a solution in which the energy from waste could be utilised. When the opportunity to partner with Planglow arose we were delighted. Food packaging waste can be a challenge for waste facilities, mainly due to the contamination by plastics, as highlighted by the issues with coffee cups that garnered much media attention. Planglow packaging contains no plastics and utilises only compostable plant-based materials. This makes them the ideal partner for PRM as the Bio-Processor is able to handle the packaging and its contents, with no need for prior separation”.
For further information please contact the PRM team.