Wetherspoon operates a national distribution centre (NDC), for the distribution of the vast range of products to its pubs.
However, the NDC is also home to Wetherspoon’s award-winning recycling team and recycling depot. It is here that the pubs return their recycling, using the very same lorries which have delivered their food and drink to them – a neat idea which, in itself, saves hundreds of thousands of road miles each year.
The returned goods are then categorised using the reduce, reuse and recycle discipline.
Reduce: Simply by challenging the need for packaging and, indeed, working with like-minded, forward-thinking suppliers, we have made some great changes. In some instances, we have seen packaging reduced by over 25%.
Reuse: The team checks all of the waste and constantly thinks: ‘In how many ways could we or someone else reuse this?’ We regularly donate furniture and clothing to local communities, charities and even amateur theatre groups, and our charitable donations help a wide variety of projects in the UK and abroad.
Recycle: Each year, the NDC recycles over 8,000 tonnes of waste: aluminium, cardboard, cooking oil, paper, plastic and steel. Our pubs also segregate their used glass, enabling us to recycle 10,500 tonnes a year.
Awards and accolades - 2012 NDC accreditation for ISO 14001 Environmental Management; 2011 winner of the DHL Food Retail Environmental Award; 2010 winner of the CIWM Recycling Performer of the Year; 2009 winner of the Environmental Hero Award; 2008 winner of the Green Apple Award and 2007 winner of the letsrecycle.com High Street Recycling Champion.
Future aims - ZWTL = zero waste to landfill from the NDC. Currently achieved 80% ZWTL and working to further reduce waste going to landfill. Also Launching food-waste-returns trials from Wetherspoon’s pubs.
Also a food packaging review which aims to increase the amount of packaging which can be used for composting or anaerobic digestion.