Individually small, plastic films, mylar and coated paper used for snacks add up. The vast majority of these originated in snack kitchens, and were disposed of there or in office areas.
Reduction Potential: High
Plastic wrappers for single service snacks including candy bar wrappers, chip bags, pretzel bags and gummy bags. Can be Mylar or LDPE-based.
Examples from Audit
Smucker’s Uncrustables, Tillamook Cheese Squares, Kettle chips, Unreal candy wrappers, Pretzel crisps. Vast majority orginiated in the MicroKitchens, but were disposed of in MicroKitchens and Office areas.
Bulk snack service
Employees have already enjoyed unwrapped snacks served from bulk containers for years. Variously sized jars of nuts, dried fruit, cereals, and confectionery, in addition to numerous bowls of fresh fruit, are visibly stationed on snack kitchen countertops across the business. Snacks are typically served into compostable plastic cups although miniature paper bags and reusable ramekins are now being pilot tested as a plastic-free alternative.
While bulk snacks are available, a wide array of packaged snacks are also present in snack kitchens, comprising the source of this waste stream (confectionary, grab-and-go veggies, cheese and crackers, cured meat, cookies, candy and others). To nudge employees toward healthier options, the less healthy snacks are stored in drawers out of sight. To further reduce plastic waste from its snack service, companies can shift more snack options to bulk while reducing packaged options. Trials to test all-bulk or mostly-bulk snack services are in progress.
Recruiting employees to choose bulk options when provided can be an important part of the solution. See Chapter Behaviour Change.