It's been a big month for the war on food waste so far, with three reports published back-to-back, targeting a need to increase food waste collections across the UK.
Around 7 million tonnes of food is still being thrown away by households in the UK every year, not to mention commercial food waste. 55% of households in England still don’t receive a food waste collection and the UK are very much in danger of missing targets of 50% recycling by 2020 if this is not addressed now.
Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) launched its national Food Waste Recycling Action Plan earlier this month, to address this gaping hole in the UK's recycling programme. The five-point plan has been designed to increase the amount of food collected from both households and the commercial sector, provide long-term, high quality feedstocks for food waste processing plants and share the costs and benefits across the food waste supply chain.
To try and apply pressure to the capital, the Just AD Food campaign was launched last week with the release of the ‘Tackling London’s Food Waste’ report, published by Bio Collectors (the largest food waste recycling company in London). The report highlights food waste issues in London and calls for the use of better waste collection and disposal methods to improve recycling rates in the city.
Bio Collectors state that anaerobic digestion (AD) plants in the UK are only operating at 50% capacity and more could be done with the 890,000 tonnes of food waste produced in London (digesting 1 tonne of food waste can generate about 300 kWh of energy)
Lastly the 'New Leaf' salad waste campaign was also launched last week after reports that Londoners throw away £1 million bags of salad during the summer months. The campaign run by Hubbub and the North London Waste Authority (NLWA) asks householders to "Turn over a #NewLeaf and keep your salad out of the bin!" “Fruit and veg are the most wasted foods in our homes, making up 19% of avoidable household food waste (WRAP). Bagged salad is the biggest culprit with a whopping two thirds of all bagged salad going to waste.”
Hubbub give tips on storage and recipes to help people consume, rather than discard their salad leaves, and if you do need to throw it away, make sure it goes into the food waste recycling!