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Reducing Packaging Waste in Collective Catering: How Responsible Practices Can Make a Difference

The foodservice industry has a significant impact on the environment due to the large volumes of food it serves, which requires a considerable amount of packaging. Packaging not only protects food from contamination and spoilage but also plays a crucial role in the preservation of its quality and nutritional value. However, the packaging materials themselves can be a significant source of waste and pollution. In this blog post, we will explore the issue of packaging in collective catering and its impact on the environment.

Collective catering refers to the provision of food services to groups of people in institutional settings such as schools, hospitals and workplaces. In such settings, packaging is essential for several reasons, including the need to transport food safely, maintain hygiene standards, and control portion sizes. Yet, the excessive use of disposable packaging can lead to significant environmental problems, including the depletion of natural resources, increased greenhouse gas emissions, and landfill waste.

One of the main challenges in reducing packaging waste in collective catering is the need to balance the environmental impact with the practicalities of serving food to large numbers of people. Foodservice providers must consider factors such as the safety and quality of the food, the convenience of serving and transporting it, and the cost-effectiveness of the packaging materials.

One way to address this issue is by adopting a more responsible approach to packaging. This means selecting packaging materials that are environmentally friendly, reusable, or recyclable. Some options include:

Biodegradable packaging

These are made from materials such as cornstarch, bamboo, or sugarcane and can be broken down by natural processes. It is essential to ensure that these materials are disposed of correctly to prevent them from contaminating the environment.

Reusable packaging

Involves using containers that can be washed and reused, reducing the amount of packaging waste generated. For example, stainless steel containers or glass jars can be used to store food instead of disposable plastic containers.

Recyclable packaging

Materials such as paper, cardboard, and certain types of plastic can be recycled. Using these materials, foodservice providers can reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill and conserve natural resources.

Foodservice providers can also take steps to reduce the amount of packaging used in their operations.

Source food locally

By sourcing food from local suppliers, foodservice providers can reduce the need for long-distance transportation, which requires more packaging.

Serve food in bulk

Rather than individually packaged portions, food can be served in bulk containers, such as chafing dishes or large serving platters.

Provide refillable stations

Rather than offering single-use packages of condiments or snacks, refillable stations can be set up to reduce packaging waste.

Packaging is a key issue in responsible collective catering. While packaging is essential for maintaining food safety and quality, it can also have a significant environmental impact. Foodservice providers must balance the practicalities of serving large volumes of food with the need to reduce packaging waste. By adopting a more responsible approach to packaging, foodservice providers can reduce their environmental footprint while continuing to provide high-quality food to their customers.

Small steps can make a big difference, and at CCSL, we are committed to being a part of the drive to make our planet a better place for future generations. We recognise the role that the catering industry plays in contributing to environmental issues, particularly when it comes to packaging waste. As part of our efforts to reduce our environmental footprint, we have taken several steps to eliminate single-use plastics from our supply chain. We started by removing plastic straws from our operations and are currently reviewing every aspect of our business to identify other areas where we can reduce our reliance on single-use plastics.

At CCSL, our team comprises the best and most experienced professionals in the industry, all of whom are passionate about making a difference. Our team is dedicated to finding sustainable alternatives to traditional packaging materials and adopting responsible practices that reduce our impact on the environment. We work closely with our clients to educate them about the importance of responsible packaging practices and encourage them to make sustainable choices.

As part of our commitment to sustainability, we have also implemented recycling programs in our facilities to ensure that any waste generated is disposed of responsibly. Our team is continuously exploring new ways to reduce our environmental impact and contribute to a more sustainable future for the catering industry.

In conclusion, small steps can make a big difference in reducing packaging waste in collective catering. By adopting responsible practices and working together, we can make significant progress in creating a more sustainable future for the planet. At CCSL, we are determined to lead by example and inspire others in the industry to take action towards reducing their environmental footprint.

Get in touch with us today to find out more,


The Team

Setting Standards


CCSL has a number of quality assurance accreditations but they do not set our benchmarks. Our quality standards are far higher and we surpass industry best practice and best-in-class measures. In fact, best practices are where we start and we move upwards from there.


We undertake on-going quality control and evaluation of all of our operations to make certain that we meet and exceed the expectations of our clients.

Services That Go Further

Nutrition Matters

Nutrition Matters is a CCSL wellness programme designed to promote the importance of nutrition in the life of a working person.


It’s more than just informing our clients’ teams and workforces about the importance of good diet and health. It’s about designing menus that bring variety without compromising goodness. With the right facts and access to delicious, affordable, healthy food, your staff can make informed choices and bring balance to their lives.



For over 30 years CCSL has been feeding companies and bringing healthy food to workplaces across Ireland. With a combination of the best local produce, talented chefs, technology and innovative thinking we bring you an award-winning suite of services.


Every day we prove that good nutrition makes for happier employees which, in turn, brings improved productivity. Now we’d like to prove it to you.


The CSSL team is made of the best and most experienced people in the industry. But we’re growing and we’re looking for bright, talented innovators to join us as we feed the nation’s workforce with heathy, nutritious, delicious fresh food.


Send in your CV and we’ll get right back to you.

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