Waste at events comes in all shapes and sizes, but none so much as that which comes with catering for a large group. On average, one fifth of food produced for events is thrown away at closing, and that doesn't even take into account the multitude of plastic plates and cutlery used to dish it all up.
When it comes to these things, small things can make a big impact. Try to avoid over-catering by being realistic with your numbers and accurately briefing your suppliers and ask them to do the same. At the end of the day people are there to fill up on content and insights, not seven helpings of fish and chips!
Reusable service ware and dinnerware can make a massive difference - make this active choice away from disposables and ensure your suppliers are on board too. If disposables are an absolute must, make sure they are sustainable options, such as wooden cutlery or paper plates. Even not putting plastic lids on coffee cups can make all the difference.
With sustainability at events, all these things add up to make something bigger. You have to start somewhere - even if it doesn't seem like much, hundreds of people doing one small thing is better than one person doing everything.
Food waste is the unfortunate by-product of many events. It occurs through the mishandling of food, through over-supply and under-eating. Food waste at events is waste of resources, of time and effort, and of course, of money. It costs to buy the ingredients, pay the staff and then to dispose of the waste. Food into landfill is a major cause of landfill methane emissions, a global greenhouse gas emissions contributor. Food waste at events also contributes to startling global food waste statistics, estimated at 1/3 of all food produced being lost or wasted.