Catering Manager, Lynn Woolhead, tells us how her department sources ingredients and products that support the zoo’s mission of protecting the planet by reducing wastage and emissions. The zoo also buys from companies that share our passion for keeping the world a greener place.

Reducing Plastic
We’re reducing our plastic waste and yours! We have introduced an exciting NEW product to our catering outlets to help reduce the use of single plastic around the zoo as part of our Plastic Pledge. Re:Water is a 100% recycled aluminium water bottle which comes filled and can then be reused and refilled again and again to help stop plastic waste. Once you’ve emptied your bottle, simply head to one of our catering outlets where they will refill your bottle for FREE with tap water.

The bottle also keeps the water inside cooler and fresher for longer, so you won’t be wasting water either! This product is now available in still or sparkling, along with our boxed water, One Water, which comes in cartons made from sustainable paperboard from FSC-approved forests, which are 100% recyclable.

As well as looking at reducing our plastic waste on our cold drinks, our coffee cups are now plastic FREE along with the lid, which is fully recyclable.

We’ve eliminated the use of plastic straws and cutlery around our site, we’re now offering paper straws and Birchwood cutlery, and we’ve changed our takeaway food containers to a Vegware product made from sugar palm. Our Ribena and Shaken Udder children’s drinks now also come with paper and not plastic straws.

We’ve mooo-ved away from plastic milk jiggers. Our catering outlets store fresh milk instead. The move to fresh milk will help to reduce our plastic waste considerably and we haven’t stopped there…

Sauce packets are now a thing of the past in our larger restaurants as we’ve made the switch to use large sauce dispensers!

Sourcing products
Colchester Zoo is committed to continuously working to purchase products for our catering and retail facilities which avoid the use of palm oil or use only RSPOcertified sustainable palm oil for any new products we introduce. This includes food items, ice creams, sweets and other gift shop products.

Our chicken is also sourced from UK suppliers, and is Red Tractor Assured.

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