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Sodexo commits to single-use plastics reduction


BURLINGTON, Ont. – Sodexo, a food services and facilities management company has implemented a North American single use plastics reduction plan that will eliminate single use plastic bags and stirrers by 2019, polystyrene foam items such as cups, lids and food containers by 2025, and shift straws to a “by request” item that will still be available to customers who need them while moving toward more sustainable materials.

“As a company serving consumers in universities, workplaces, hospitals, schools, and so many other venues, we understand both the potential impact we can make through a commitment to reduction and the real benefit that some of these products bring to people every day, said Katherine Power, vice-president corporate affairs at Sodexo Canada.

“We believe there’s tremendous room for reducing waste without having a single person who uses our services feel like they are being excluded.”

The company will continue to research and introduce new innovations such as re-usable materials, bioplastics, and organic materials in its effort to eliminate avoidable waste going to landfills.

Sodexo has committed to:

  • Eliminate single use plastic take out bags and plastic stirrers by the end of 2019, with overall reductions of these single use items;
  • Reduce straw use by adopting a ‘by request’ policy and shift plastic straws to more sustainable materials unless plastic is required for accessibility by 2019;
  • Continue to seek innovative practices and products to reduce or eliminate other single use plastics.

“We support efforts to prevent waste. However, it’s important to remember that for many people, these aren’t convenience products, they are necessities. We’re happy to provide Sodexo with guidance that ensures people with disabilities will be able to enjoy their facilities just as they always have. Sodexo’s approach to supporting the sustainability of our planet while keeping the well-being of all its citizens in mind continues to reinforce its position as a global leader in innovation and inclusion,” said Florence Chapman, CEO of Canadian Business SenseAbility.

Sodexo’s policy will eliminate over 245 million pieces of unnecessary single use items. For plastic straws and stirrers alone, the reduction plan will eliminate a volume of plastic straws and stirrers that, if laid end to end, would reach from North Pole to South Pole…twice.

“Single-use plastic waste often ends up in nature, and has a devastating effect on species,” said Erin Simon, director of sustainability R&D at World Wildlife Fund, United States.

“Sodexo’s plan to phase out unnecessary single-use plastics is an important first step in their commitment in tackling the plastic waste crisis.”

“Sodexo’s comprehensive plan to reduce its reliance on single-use plastic will have major benefits for the environment and human health,” said John Hocevar, a marine biologist with Greenpeace.

“We also applaud Sodexo for committing to invest in solutions that involve re-use and not just other throwaway items.”

Sodexo acknowledges that waste is one of our planet’s biggest collective challenges. Through its Better Tomorrow 2025 corporate responsibility roadmap, the company has committed to eliminating avoidable waste globally by 2025. But given its expertise in ensuring quality of life services for people with disabilities, patients in hospitals, seniors, and people with food allergies, Sodexo is applying a targeted approach that will avoid the unintended consequences that could accompany full-scale elimination.


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