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06/01/2011 09:48 AM     print story email story  

Yes, People Who Dine in Restaurants Want Them to Recycle News

Three out of five people prefer to eat at restaurants that have recycling practices in place, according to a study conducted by the National Restaurant Association.

The study found that roughly two-thirds of the nation's restaurants practice some level of recycling, but they would be more profitable if they implemented comprehensive programs. 

Other highlights include:     

  • 85% of consumers say they sort recyclables in quickservice restaurants if receptacles are provided.
  • 74% of restaurateurs who recycle do so in the kitchen and office areas, while 43% have a program in the dining room and other customer-facing areas.
  • 72% of restaurant operators use products made from recycled materials, most commonly bags, paper products and food containers.
  • 51% of consumers say they're willing to pay a little more at a restaurant that recycles.
  • 13% of restaurants participate in composting programs

"Sustainability is more than a fad, it's the new way of doing business in the restaurant industry," says Hudson Riehle, senior vice president, Research and Knowledge Group for the National Restaurant Association. "Our research found that a majority of consumers prefer to patronize restaurants with recycling programs, and restaurants are following suit to ensure they meet their customers' expectations."

The National Restaurant Association surveyed 500 restaurant owners and operators nationwide during March and April, 2011.

Its website, Conserve: Solutions for Sustainability, provides tips, tools and resources for restaurant operators to continue to develop their environmental sustainability programs, including waste reduction and recycling.

Download the report: 


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