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River Cottage Plastics Policy


We are committed to eliminating all single use plastics from our businesses. This is an ongoing issue we are grappling with and we will take some time to become completely single-use plastic free. We continue to use the plastic that we already have i.e. chopping boards to get as much use out of them as possible.

These are the steps we are taking to reduce plastics:


We separate all our waste to ensure everything that can be recycled goes into the correct streams. Staff are trained to ensure correct bins are used. At our farm HQ all raw food waste goes into our own compost. Our cooked food waste is processed by an anaerobic digestion plant in our local city Exeter.


We are working hard with our suppliers to remove single-use plastic packaging from the deliveries we receive and encourage suppliers to bring products in reusables where possible.

  • We will no longer accept deliveries using polystyrene and challenge those suppliers still relying on plastic packaging.

• Vegetables are delivered in crates which are returned and used again and again.

• Our milk comes in metal churns which are returned and reused whilst smaller quantities in plastic bottles are washed and recycled.

• Cleaning products, soaps and hand creams – We buy refills from our suppliers and send back the larger bottles to be reused.

• We are working to reduce or eliminate the need for vacuum packing in our kitchens and with our food deliveries.  

• Our fish suppliers know that we do not accept deliveries in polystyrene. If this does happen we take the fish out and hand the polystyrene back to the driver.

Day to day

• We have removed non-PVC cling film from our restaurants

• Any goods sent to us in plastic tubs (Ice cream etc) get washed out and reused.

• We do not supply plastic straws.

• We have no plastic bottles for drinks, all are in glass which is recycled.

• We do not supply takeaway coffee cups, instead we encourage guests to bring their own reusable cup for takeaway coffees. We sell a sustainable bamboo cup.

• All our sites are registered with City to Sea’s Refill scheme meaning anyone can drop in and get their water bottle refilled

Leftovers: Cookery School

With many of our cookery courses there are often treats and leftovers to take away. In order to minimise waste and help us be as sustainable as possible, we are encouraging guests to bring their own containers and bags to transport their produce home.

Fair & Festival

We use compostable Vegware for serving food and drink, all of this waste goes to a local composting facility. We are also encouraging guests to bring water bottles, keep-cups, re-usable plates and cutlery, or even Tupperware.