UKHospitality has cautiously welcomed the European Commission’s proposals to tackle plastic and packaging waste but warned that the new measures must be supported by infrastructure that does not increase burdens for hospitality businesses.

UKHospitality Chief Executive Kate Nicholls said: The hospitality sector has been making significant progress on the issue of plastic and packaging waste. Many UKHospitality members have signed up to our five-point pledge to tackle packaging waste and it has been very encouraging to see so many businesses throw their weight behind a worthwhile campaign.

“Ultimately, we had hoped to drive meaningful change without the need for potentially costly legislation. Support for businesses from local authorities and manufacturers is going to be key if the new proposals are to be useful and manageable. We need a focus on personal and business responsibility to ensure that infrastructure encourages recycling and adoption of alternatives, rather than a blanket elimination of plastic.

“This means that local and national authorities need to ensure that local recycling infrastructure does not hinder businesses’ efforts to recycle, and consumption reduction targets do not discourage business. Manufacturers also need to work closely with waste management companies to make sure their products can be disposed of according to the new rules.

“Hospitality businesses are already working hard to cut down on waste, but they also require support in order to continue their good work without incurring additional costs.”