The Ultimate Guide to Eco-Friendly Catering Supplies

Author: Lizzy Kirk - Social Media Manager

2 - 3 min read

21st November 2023

Assortment of catering disposables including rubber gloves, paper cups, cardboard food boxes, foil trays, paper plates, and various kitchen utensils for event and restaurant use.


The catering industry is also evolving in today’s world, where environmental consciousness is growing. ​​At Catering24, we are committed to sustainability and are proudly a certified carbon-negative company. We engage in annual strategies to reduce our carbon footprint, including initiatives like UK tree planting and supporting global efforts against deforestation. These efforts ensure we not only offset but exceed our CO2 output by a minimum of 125%, reflecting our deep commitment to environmental responsibility​​​​​​. This guide aims to explore eco-friendly catering supplies, showcasing how businesses like ours can contribute to a more sustainable future.


Understanding the Need for Eco-Friendly Catering

Before diving into the types of supplies available, it's essential to understand why eco-friendly catering is crucial. Traditional catering often involves significant waste, from plastic cutlery to non-recyclable packaging. This harms the environment and reflects poorly on a business as customers seek sustainable options.

Sustainable Alternatives in Catering Supplies

Biodegradable and Compostable Materials: Choosing supplies from biodegradable materials like bagasse (sugarcane), bamboo, and palm leaves can significantly reduce waste. Compostable items, which break down into natural elements in a compost environment, are also gaining popularity.

Catering24 has a wide selection of biodegradable and compostable products, including Bagasse food boxes, cardboard food trays, Plates, Bowls and paper straws.

Recyclable Products: Recyclable materials like paper, cardboard, and certain plastics help reduce their environmental impact. The key is to ensure these materials are correctly disposed of to be recycled effectively.

We have various recyclable products from various materials, including cardboard, plastic, foil, and paper. These include some of our most popular products like disposable cups, cutlery and leakproof boxes.

Reusable Supplies: Encouraging the use of reusable items, such as cloth napkins, durable cutlery, and crockery, can significantly cut down on waste. Though the initial investment might be higher, it pays off in the long run in terms of cost and environmental impact.

Regarding reusable items, we stock many catering equipment that can be reused, including kitchen utensils, cleaning equipment, and tableware. 

Catering24's Approach to Sustainability

Catering24, a family business with over 30 years of expertise in catering supplies in the UK, stands out for its commitment to sustainability​​. Our product range includes various eco-friendly options, including recyclable, compostable, and reusable items​​.

We have also created our own environmentally conscious brands, Envirobee and Chefpac​​.

Implementing Eco-Friendly Practices

Implementing eco-friendly practices in the catering industry is essential for promoting sustainability and reducing environmental impact. This involves a multi-faceted approach:

Educate Staff and Customers: Training staff on sustainable practices and educating customers about the benefits of using eco-friendly supplies can foster a culture of sustainability.

Waste Management: Implementing effective waste management strategies, like composting and recycling, can help reduce the overall environmental impact.

Energy Efficiency: Using energy-efficient appliances and practices in the kitchen can further enhance a catering business's sustainability.

Local and Organic Sourcing: Sourcing ingredients locally and organically supports local economies and reduces carbon emissions associated with transportation.

Water Conservation: Implementing water-saving techniques in the kitchen can make a significant difference in overall sustainability efforts.

Transitioning to eco-friendly catering supplies is a vital step towards a sustainable future. By adopting these environmentally friendly alternatives, the catering industry can significantly contribute to protecting our planet.