Food waste is a growing issue in the world as too many pounds of food are thrown out each day. Food waste utilizes too many resources to result in food spoilage. Many restaurants around the world are working to reduce food waste in their practices and taking innovative steps towards recycling and composting.
In London, United Kingdom, Silo was the world’s first zero waste restaurant. They make their food from whole ingredients to reduce food transportation and over-processing. Silo has their own flour mill where they can turn wheat into flour the traditional way. They also churn their own butter and make their own milk. In their cooking, they honor the nose to tail
concept where when an animal dies for food, they maximize their use of the animal. The restaurant has an on-site brewery to create natural drinks. They even focus on sustainability in their decorations. Their furniture was made from a vision of reusing and choosing up-cycling before recycling. Their plates are made from plastic bags, tables consist of reconstituted food packaging, and china dishes made from crushed wine bottles. All the products received at the restaurant are transferred in re-usable vessels such as crates and pails. Any waste is put into an aerobic digester that can generate 60 kg of compost in 24 hours and the composted is shared with the local community.
In Brooklyn, New York, USA, Rhodora strives to be the first zero waste wine bar in the country. When they opened, they committed to never sending anything to the landfill. No
single-use plastics are given and they only use products in food and beverages that can be recycled, up-cycled, or composted. They are committed to reducing waste whenever possible and collaborate with their sustainable winemakers. All food partners are committed to using compostable or recycled packaging materials or work towards a closed-loop delivery system where delivery containers can be returned and reused. They use shelf stable tinned fish, cheese with long lasting shelf lives, and pickled vegetables to minimize waste as aluminum and tin that can be easily recycled.
In Berlin, Germany, Frea is a zero waste restaurant. Their “Gersi” composting machine converts all of their waste into a soil substitute within 24 hours so that they can give this back
to the farms that supply their produce. They have no garbage cans and no plastic packaging.
Their food products come unpackaged and plastic-free. The restaurant uses 100% of their food. They utilize organic ingredients and produce everything on their own. The producers also understand the environmental commitment and avoid plastic packaging.
In Bournemouth, United Kingdom, Arbor Restaurant is a very conscious and detailed
oriented eatery. They closely watch portion sizes to ensure dishes can be customized to the diner’s liking. The menus are detailed so customers know what they will be served so that it is not something they dislike or unable to eat due to allergies. They have a small kitchen with less storage so they receive smaller, more frequent deliveries from local suppliers to limit waste from spoilage. They send used cooking oil to be converted into biofuel and the food waste they make is converted into compost and sent to local farms.
In Copenhagen, Denmark, Amass is a sustainable restaurant that has reduced their waste output by 75% since their 2013 opening. They reduced their water usage by 5,200 liters per year. They put food waste, cardboard, and water to use in their garden and
compost the waste or use the water as hydration for plants. They received the Danish Gold Organic Certificate which means that 90-100% of their food and beverages are certified organic. They founded Amass Green Kids which is a farm to table program for underserved Copenhagen youth. They use all parts of their ingredients by using skins, seeds, and stems for seasonings, misos, or crisps. The restaurant composts whatever they cannot cook, including cardboard. They convert their frying oil and fats into biodiesel and biogas. They only work with suppliers who take back packaging to reuse. All glass and cardboard is recycled and melted down their candles into egg cartons to use as fire starters. They save 90 liters of water per day by collecting leftover water from the dining room, boiling the water, and using it to wash floors or water the garden.
These innovative restaurants across the world work hard to reduce their food waste and inspire their customers to do the same. All of these eateries demonstrate innovation and dedication to sustainability in all aspects of their initiatives. Food waste can only be reduced through consistent work and collaboration between people. These places will hopefully inspire you to also reduce your food waste and incorporate these practices in your own life.