At The Dorking Deli we care hugely about the health and happiness of our staff and customers but also our planet. We've always taken steps to ensure our approach to packaging and waste management is planet-friendly; for example, we sourced biodegradable, recyclable, decompostable takeaway coffee cups back in 2015 - waaaaay before it hit the headlines! Recently we've promoted this topic back to the top of our todo list and we thought we'd share what we've been working on so far:


To become a zero-landfill, carbon neutral business.


In our efforts to become a zero-landfill business, we have implemented a food waste bin.  All scraps, peelings and kitchen food waste is now collected by a company who transform this into renewable energy and organic fertiliser.


We request with suppliers that all kitchen orders are delivered in reuseable crates which we return, or where this isn't possible in cardboard boxes which are reused or recycled.


We support several local suppliers in an effort to minimise food miles. These include Dorking Butchery, Home Farm, and Surrey Hills Coffee.


As a small business, energy consumption can be a huge financial cost. This, combined with our green efforts mean we always switch off all appliances and electrics as soon as they're not being used. All new appliances are checked for energy efficiency, and we are currently looking into changing our electricity provider to a renewable energy alternative.


We are gradually updating all lightbulbs with energy efficient bulbs as and when they need replacing.


Whilst we are limited in the kitchen to which cleaning products we can use, throughout the rest of the business we choose to use Method and Ecover cleaning products (which also happen to smell amazing!).


Our coffee cups have been recyclable, biodegradable and decompostable since 2015. As well as this, the majority of our other packaging has been paper-based and fully compostable, including our baguette bags, carrier bags and salad boxes since we opened in 2012. We are in the process of updating our takeaway smoothie cups and straws to plant-based biodegradable alternatives. (*we now ONLY use vegetable starch-based takeaway cups as of April 2018)  We also support the use of reuseable packaging with our customers, including reusable coffee cups and lunchboxes.


All glass bottles are recycled - no exceptions - but that's just old-fashioned common sense!


We have a mixed recycling bin for plastics, cardboard and kitchen metals (cans, tins, foil etc).


Yes, even our toilet roll is made from recycled paper!


Customer drinking water has always been freely available, but last year we made it even easier to avoid bottled water with our self-service drinking water tap.

And finally, OUR CUSTOMERS, fellow Zero Heroes!:

We'd love for you to help us achieve our aim of becoming zero-landfill, and it's easy for you to do!

1. If you have a reusable cup or lunchbox, please feel free to use it at The Dorking Deli. You might even get the odd free coffee as a nod of appreciation!

2. If you don't need a bag, please don't ask for one. Yes, we know they're made of paper and can be reused once or twice, or recycled, but let's reduce waste of all kinds. Afterall - even the act of recycling involves energy use.

3. Napkins. You'd think we can recycle them but we can't. Whilst we're not posh enough for linen serviettes, we do appreciate everyone needs a napkin or two. Just please think twice before grabbing a whole handful for snotty noses or drink spillages...we do have a mop and bucket available. (For the spillages that is, not snotty noses!)

4. Water. We installed our customer drinking tap last year with a huge thumbs up from all of you. Plastic cups are put out for customer use (these are made from recycled plastic and are sent on for further recycling by ourselves) however glass tumblers are always available - please just ask. We also support the use of reuseable water bottles, and not just by our two-wheeled cycling fans!


...thank you for reading this latest update and for continuing to support The Dorking Deli. Let's work together towards a greener 2018 and future beyond!