To professionally prepare and serve public meals, a broad range of resources and materials is required. These range from water and energy for cooking, to cleaning detergents, cling film, napkins, dishes, cutlery, etc. Using these materials always comes at an economic and environmental price.
The motto “achieving more with less” frames the tools in this gateway. By making better use of available resources or cutting down on resource-heavy procedures, public meals can be a perfect showcase for a circular economy and resource efficiency.
Packaging and plastic materials are two major contributors to environmental pollution, and their manufacture generates greenhouse gas emissions. This can be mitigated by encouraging procurers to make use of EU’s GPP criteria for water, energy and materials. Catering organisations and supply chains can, by innovative thinking and altering their routines, play an active role in creating solutions for the better use of resources. This way, public meals can offer direct routes towards the sustainable use of resources.
The tools presented here to help change the preparation and consumption of public meals contain innovative ways to avoid certain materials, reuse others, and reduce energy and water consumption. While they can be part of municipal and entrepreneurial policies, some are also suitable as well for procurers, while others offer hands-on approaches for kitchens and canteens.