'Doggy Bag' Ratings for Top Restaurants; London Chefs to Get Michelin Style Award for Cutting Waste

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Byline: Jonathan Prynn Consumer Business Editor

TOP London restaurants will have to offer diners take-home "doggy bags" to earn a new "save the planet" equivalent of a Michelin star launched today.

The system will rank restaurants according to how much they use up the world's resources rather than the taste of the food and was inspired in part by the Standard's "Water on Tap" campaign.

Government research shows that the hotel and restaurant industry has the lowest environmental awareness of any in Britain, throwing out 600,000 tonnes of glass bottles and three million tonnes of waste food a year. The new rating system is devised by the Sustainable Restaurant Association, also launched today, with the backing of leading restaurateurs and chefs including Raymond Blanc, Tom Aikens, Skye Gyngell, Mark Sargeant and Thomasina Miers.

Participating restaurants will be visited by a "green inspector" who will give the food and premises a sustainability rating. The best will be awarded bronze, silver or gold status and the ratings will be listed in eating out guides.

SRA founder Giles Gibbons said the restaurant industry was bombarded with advice and regulations from at least 25 agencies such as the Farm Animal Welfare Council, the Rainforest Alliance, the Carbon Trust and the Soil Association and needs a central source of information.

He said: "We think that an SRA rating will be up there with a Michelin star. A satisfying meal is not just about taste, people also want to feel comfortable about where the food has come from. People want guiltfree eating."

The SRA is initially being launched with 80 restaurants as members. …

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