During this year’s Plastic Free July, the Trust is committing to going plastic free and highlighting tips and tricks to reduce plastic use. Saying no to plastic doesn’t just start at home, it’s a goal that all organizations — and not just environmental groups — can strive for! And one of our favorite local organizations that we are inspired by is Malvern Buttery.
Malvern Buttery is a European-style bakery cafe that aims to highlight the importance of craftsmanship in the food industry while providing a welcoming atmosphere for our community to find a second home in. Explains Joli Ridenour, “We specialize in naturally leavened breads, viennoiserie among other classic pastries, and using locally sourced ingredients to create outrageous breakfast and lunches.”
Read below to find out how this delicious place achieved their goal to minimize plastic use!
When did Malvern Buttery first consider reducing their plastic use?
Since we opened our doors, The Buttery has always strived to keep sustainability at the forefront of our collective minds. We knew right away that we wanted to offer more compostable paper options instead of plastic that takes hundreds of years to breakdown.
What was the reason/inspiration for this decision to reduce your plastic use?
From the food we eat to the air we breathe, our environment is paramount to our communities’ survival and should be embedded in how we go about our day. Plastic takes over hundreds of years to break down, gets in our water systems, destroys ecosystems, and isn’t sustainable for our future. Having a sustainability mindset feels like the right and necessary thing to do as we grow as a business.
In what specific ways/areas did you reduce your plastic use? And why did you choose these specific areas? Please share examples and photos if you have any!
Once Covid hit the world, we had to make changes to our set up which no longer could include dine in options. It was a no-brainer for us to continue purchasing USDA certified bio-based products like paper straws, compostable sugarcane containers or biodegradable, plant starch based to-go silverware to help leave a smaller footprint.
How long did it take you to implement this change in your business?
Not a ton of time, considering we already were focusing on purchasing “greener” to-go items, but now we needed to buy them in much larger quantities.
What was the biggest challenge that you faced during this process?
The biggest challenge was definitely with the supply chain. 2020 changed so many facets about everything, and we weren’t always able to order the products we knew and trusted in the quantities we now needed.
Did you learn anything surprising during or after making this change?
People notice and want to support a business that makes a concerted effort to be environmentally friendly. While we always leaned towards sustainability, we enjoyed seeing the younger generations being more mindful of these choices and actions as well.
How have customers received this change? Have you had any feedback?
They love it! Our guests have always supported our greener mindset, so it was a natural progression for us to continue sourcing as sustainable as possible. We’re by no means perfect, but when we use plastic, like for our to-go cups, we aim to source it from recycled materials when we can and are always considering alternatives.
Do you intend to continue reducing your plastic use, and if so, do you have any specific goals that you’re working toward that you can share with us?
Definitely! We’re looking for ways we can continue improving. Right now, we’re working on incorporating more glass jars as storage or for selling retail items instead of plastic containers.
Why do you think other businesses should consider reducing their plastic use?
The future is hinged on businesses leading in a more sustainable way, including but definitely not limited to reducing plastic. It’s our responsibility to the community and to the generations that come after us to do our part and take care of all that we put out to the world.
Do you have any advice or resources to share with other businesses or organizations looking to reduce their plastic use?
Research what option is best for your company and always work towards improving that. When we knew we had to bring in to-go silverware, it was important to know the differences between which items would need specific environments to break down properly and then make an informed decision as to what would be best for us right now.
Is there anything else you would like to share?
Our team is full of people that care — not only about the craftsmanship that goes into our food production, but also how we can impact the world around us on an environmental level. We wouldn’t be as successful in our pursuits without the support and input from our internal community — our amazing team.
Keep an eye on our Event calendar for an upcoming Field To Feast featuring Malvern Buttery’s delicious food!