Restaurant group cleans up and saves tonnes of plastic

By Tom Tanner, Sustainable Restaurant Association

In the summer of 2020, Duncan Goodwin, Head of Risk and Compliance at The Restaurant Group (TRG) which is the proud owner of a Three Star Food Made Good Sustainability Rating, was looking for a cleaning solution that sanitised surfaces quickly and effectively, without damaging furniture finishes.

Duncan was also keenly aware that most cleaning products are supplied in single-use plastic. To fulfil its cleaning needs, the group was using 11 different chemicals too and reducing that was another priority.

With approximately only 30% of all plastic being recycled in the UK, according to the British Plastics Initiative, the majority ends up in landfill.

In spring 2021, TRG began the roll out of Toucan Eco Worktop 1-litre models across 210 sites, comprising 80 pubs and 130 leisure facilities.

“Hygiene and surface care was very much the driver for our search for a new cleaning system,” explained Duncan. “Having investigated it thoroughly and after carrying out assessments into its suitability, as well as putting Toucan Eco through our own trials, it became apparent that it has unique environmental benefits too.”

In 2021, as a result of using the Toucan Eco system, the TRG saved 2.7 tonnes of plastic packaging, and 35,000 tonnes of chemical distribution.

Duncan added: “That’s where the environmental benefits of using the system are hugely significant for our business. These figures also don’t take into account that during this period we were using up existing stock of cleaning supplies, so we forecast even bigger savings going forward.”

Manager Dan Rose at Bulls Head in Mobberley

About Toucan Eco

The Toucan Eco system electrolyses a combination of tap water and normal salt to create a powerful, food safe and eco-friendly disinfectant cleaner that kills up to 99.999% of germs, including Covid-19. It’s a low carbon technology that replaces over 80% of chemical use, reduces plastic waste, energy, water and transportation. And, once installed, it’s virtually free to make.

Toucan calculates that for every typical one litre plastic bottle customers save over two litres of water, 4 million joules of energy, and a quarter of a litre of oil. And, for every ton of plastic, they’re saving about three tonnes of CO2.

Toucan Eco doesn’t contain any synthetic chemicals or fragrances, 99.99% of the solution is water, and the pH of the solution is around a gentle 7.8 to 8.5 so it’s not aggressive like bleach. It’s also safe and you don’t need protective clothing or PPE.

Duncan at TRG reported that feedback was positive from staff and customers. Toucan Eco doesn’t replace heavy degreasers or descalers, although it is effective if used as part of a daily clean.

In terms of the cost, TRG has a enjoyed a return on investment within six months. “After which we’re saving all of our chemical spend. It’s effectively free to make from that point onwards,” added Duncan.

Key features & benefits for The Restaurant Group

  • Saved 2.7 tonnes of plastic packaging
  • Reduced 35,000 tonnes of chemicals
  • Removed 12,200 cases from distribution and manual handling
  • Replaces 11 different chemicals
  • Used across 210 UK sites
  • Contributed to TRG’s Food Made Good 3-star SRA rating
  • Six-month return on investment

Steve Courtney, product specialist for Toucan Eco at the UK’s distributor Robert Scott, added: “It’s fantastic to be working with a restaurant group that’s recognised the potential of Toucan Eco to truly transform cleaning practices and one that’s had the vision to roll out the sustainable cleaning system across so many sites, delivering such significant environmental benefits and cost savings. We hope this encourages more businesses, particularly within the hospitality industry, to switch to cleaning sustainably with Toucan Eco.”

More information about The Restaurant Group can be found at, and Toucan Eco at

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