Sustainability in the Pizza Industry


The smell of freshly baked pizzas is like nothing else – enticing fresh-from-the-oven aromas, tangy tomato sauce, and sizzling cheese are just so appetising!

In today’s eco-conscious world, however, we also need to consider the industry’s sustainability. Sustainability is so much more than just another trend; it’s imperative for protecting our environment and necessary for long-term success and business viability.

So, how can this be achieved?

Source Local

One of the best ways for the food industry to be more sustainable is to source ingredients locally wherever possible. Not only does sourcing like this support local farmers and suppliers, but it also reduces carbon emissions created through transport. Working this way is better for the environment and means fresher, high-quality ingredients for the pizza—it’s a win-win.

Waste Not, Want Not

It is estimated that restaurants and food establishments in the UK generate around one million tonnes of food waste annually. Plate waste is a significant contributor here; 39% of restaurant meals are wasted, with large amounts left uneaten[i]. Minimising food waste is not only better for the environment but is also more cost-effective for the business. The waste can be used for a handful of things, including donating to charities and schemes that sell unused food to the public.

Mindful Menus

People following vegetarian and vegan diets are key to a more sustainable planet. 49.6% fewer greenhouse gas emissions are created by following such diets, and they have a 41.5% smaller environmental footprint than meat eaters[ii]. Pizza restaurants and vendors adapting their menus to offer a more comprehensive selection of veggie and vegan options and reducing the meat offerings is a no-brainer. The plant-based world has so much to offer nowadays regarding pizza toppings, from southern fried ‘chicken’ to smoky ‘pepperoni’ and, of course, all the veggies. The pizza industry can take giant steps toward being more suitable by slightly adjusting their menus whilst keeping all the deliciousness.

Eco-Friendly Pizza Packaging

Most pizzas are delivered in the classic brown box, but many of these boxes only have up to 50% recycled content. With 4.2 million people saying they order a pizza takeaway once a week, that’s a lot of package waste. As it takes 4.2 million trees to be cut down to create two billion pizza boxes, something clearly needs to change.

Can we recycle our 50% recycled pizza box once we’re finished? Contrary to popular belief, no, we can’t! Pizza grease seeping into the cardboard box makes it unrecyclable, as the oil means the paper fibres cannot separate.

However, new companies are constantly coming up with innovative solutions, such as fully decomposable boxes made from bamboo[iii]. Who knew? The pizza industry implementing these new ideas and offering other solutions, such as your-bring-your-own takeaway containers, is a great step towards being kinder to the planet.

Suitability isn’t just a catchphrase; it’s essential for the industry’s long-term viability. By making small changes and choosing to operate in ways that are better for the planet, the industry can take steps to become more eco-friendly and reduce its environmental footprint. It’s also a great way for businesses to stand out from their competitors and attract socially conscious customers who want to shout about all things sustainability.