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Apetito launches closed loop recycling system of meal trays in NHS

Following a successful pilot earlier this year with three hospitals, this ‘innovative’ new scheme named ‘Boomerang’ is now operating in over 20 sites with plans to extend across all of Apetito’s NHS customers this year.

All the plastic trays used in Apetito’s Carte Choix and Specialist Nutrition ranges can be collected by Apetito when new meals are delivered. The trays are then recycled into plastic flakes and then transformed into completely new trays in the UK. Apetito guarantees that 100% of trays returned will be recycled into new trays.

If Apetito rolled this out to all their hospitals it could save over 64 tonnes of Co2e, which is the equivalent of boiling a kettle 1.6 million times. By returning trays to Apetito rather than paying for them to be collected, the NHS has the potential to save more than £30,000 per year.

Lee Sheppard, director of corporate affairs, policy and sustainability at Apetito, said: “The results have been phenomenal. Further to our experience with Wiltshire Farm Foods where more than ten million trays have been collected and recycled in just over a year, our return rates on Carte Choix trays already sit at an impressive 64%, compared to the local authority kerbside recycling rate of just 38% for UK plastic. This shows how quickly our NHS partners have bought into this project as part of its sustainability journey.

“With our scheme and working closely with our hospital catering partners, we’re able to guarantee that every single tray we collect will be used to make a new tray, unlike kerbside recycling where unfortunately nearly half of what is collected actually gets shipped abroad for ‘recycling’, with much uncertainty as to how effective this is.

“We’re proud of this scheme – not only is it helping hospitals save money, but it’s the right thing to do from a sustainability point of view. Just like the NHS, we’re on a mission to get to net zero and we’re delighted to be able to help the NHS do the same.”

Original Source: Public Sector Catering


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