The Foodservice Packaging Association (FPA) has suggested that London mayor Sadiq Khan should urge chefs to give him their support in waste management rather than call for a ban on polystyrene.
The FPA was responding to calls by top chefs and food experts for Khan to issue a capital-wide ban on polystyrene packaging.
Executive director of the FPA, Martin Kersh, said: “The focus of their attack should be directed towards those people who feel it is acceptable to litter and not the packaging itself.”
The chefs, led by Ed Baines, founder and head chef of the London Soho restaurant Randall and Aubin, include Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Theo Randall, Mark Hix and food critic William Sitwell.
They all have concerns about the environmental and health impact of polystyrene, the cost of recycling the product and the amount of rubbish it creates.
In an open letter to Khan, signed by the group, Baines said: “Not only are the mountains of polystyrene waste environmentally damaging and unsightly, it has also been shown to be harmful to health! We should be doing everything we can to get Londoners to use safer, environmentally friendly, recyclable packaging.”
Signatories are concerned that the packaging is contributing heavily to London’s poor performance at recycling, which is lower than many other areas in the UK. Khan’s election manifesto promised to get London on track to achieve the target for 65% recycled waste by 2030.
The letter has also noted that produce could be packaged in more environmentally friendly materials. Polystyrene is a difficult and expensive material to recycle, which means it usually ends up in a landfill.
Kersh has refuted this claim. He said: “Polystyrene is not difficult to recycle and facilities exist enabling this to be achieved, and a valuable end material is produced.”
Elior reduces carbon footprint by 59% >>
Are you looking for a new role? See all the current hospitality vacancies available with The CatererFONT >>
Latest video from The Caterer