Under cover of COVID, Kurtis Bosley worries our focus on sustainability has waned

Story by Kurtis Bosley.

Photography by Kitti Gould. Drink recipe & location @Correttodeewhy

As Sydney works its way out of COVID, it seems there has been a reset. Less people, less traffic, less pent-up anxiety and stress flooding the air. For many, this has also been the reset the industry and those who frequent our venues needed. The longevity of hospitality spaces needed this.

Easing of restrictions throughout most of Australia has let patrons back into licensed spaces, drinks to be served in proper glassware and evidently allowed consumables to fill the bar caddies in venues once again.

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Although change has been necessary to many aspects of how our businesses are being run, we didn’t need to also fall into the old habits of single-use plastics and consumables that we had slowly worked out of our bars and pubs. So much conversation has focused on the positive results to the environment, that we are currently experiencing through the pandemic, that it has overshadowed the extent of the reversal we’ve taken as an industry.

So, why have we fallen back into old habits? The issue comes down to accessibility and expense. When the price of oil dropped dramatically, this in turn saw a reduced cost for virgin plastic. Companies began to move away from the environmental cost as they worked to keep the doors open during an unprecedented time. There is no tried and true solution to this overtaking problem, unless we start to reset the industry again, with leaders in the space adjusting the conversation to better manage guest expectations and business operations.

At the time this article is being published, we stand at the junction of two diverging paths. One is paved with stop-gap solutions that puts us back on a similar path to that of The Great Pacific Garbage Patch. The other shifts our focus back toward a sustainable model of operations, that will benefit us long into a healthier, safer, more liveable future
for everyone.

Unlike the navigation of COVID in the industry, we do have a tried and tested way to work our venues back into a more sustainable mindset, returning our focus to the reduction of single-use plastics, the effects of waste and mindful bartending.

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