Organic September - the benefits of buying and the challenges of storing organic fruit and veg
Published: 1 Sep 2020
Whilst eating any fruit and vegetables is much better for you than none, organically produced fresh produce can give you and the environment so many additional benefits.
With no harmful chemicals and pesticides introduced from seed to plate then the consumer will enjoy many health benefits including a significantly higher proportion (60%) of key antioxidants.
There are also the benefits to the environment. The removal of harmful chemicals from fields and gardens will encourage and protect wildlife. Research shows there is 50% more wildlife on an organic farm than on a more traditional one. A real haven for bees, butterflies and other insects, as well as animals.
With no unnatural intervention, growers of organic fruit and vegetables have the challenge of keeping produce fresh for as long as possible, so they arrive at the customer in peak condition. From then on, the consumer (customer) has to eat the produce before it rots down.
There are ways to transport and store fruit and vegetables which will go along way to slowing down the ripening process. Ethylene gas is the ripening hormone, produced by all fruit and vegetables after harvesting. By removing the gas from the air surrounding produce, it will slow down the ripening process, in many fruit and vegetables, quite significantly.
Invisible airborne rots, moulds and spores especially in wet and damp conditions can also play a part in premature spoilage of fresh produce. That grey mould, Botrytis, that starts on one strawberry in a punnet can quickly multiply and spoil the lot, if left in close proximity to other produce.
Organising your fridge and other storage areas to keep the ethylene vulnerable away from prolific producers of the gas will go some way to slowing down the process; another way is to remove the Ethylene gas from the fridge or storage area altogether.
Approved for use with organics Fresh Pod works at all stage of the food supply chain to remove 99% of Ethylene from the atmosphere where fruit and vegetables are stored. It also removes any invisible airborne bacteria, rots and spores which can also accelerate spoilage. By cleaning the air produce will stay fresh, crisp and tastier for up to four times longer whilst retaining essential nutrients. Fresh Pod has a full range of products to work in domestic fridges and fruit bowls as well as in the commercial world in commercial fridges, warehouses, lorries, containers and others.
Choosing to introduce organic fruit and vegetables into the diet is not as difficult or expensive as it can sometimes be perceived. Especially if enjoyed in peak condition and not thrown away. The benefits to the body and to the environment is well worth the effort.
Too good to go
Published: 30 Jun 2020
Reducing food waste is one of the most important things we can do to reverse global warming.
Too Good To Go has an ambitious goal: to inspire and empower everyone to fight food waste.
The problem is simple: too much food is being thrown away. It happens at stores and in households, from fresh sandwiches sitting in rubbish bags behind cafes, to uneaten vegetables tipped into bins at home. It's all delicious, made to be enjoyed - but it's getting wasted instead.
At the same time, food waste is putting the planet under enormous strain. Entire forests are cleared to grow produce that will never be eaten, and scientists have discovered how food releases harmful greenhouse gases when it's disposed of unsustainably.
It raises the question: why are we throwing so much of it away?
That's the question several entrepreneurs around Europe - from Paris to Copenhagen to Leeds - were asking when, in 2016, they joined forces to create Too Good To Go.
Too Good To Go is a social impact company driving a movement against food waste. Our app is the world's largest B2C marketplace for surplus food. The app connects users with businesses that have surplus food, so that this food can be enjoyed instead of wasted. Users get delicious meals at a great price, businesses reach new customers and recover sunk costs, and the planet has less wasted food to deal with - it's a win-win-win.
At Too Good To Go, we believe that sustainable options should be easy and fun. They should make the planet a happier place, and they should be accessible to everyone.
We also believe that, despite how big and complicated it is, food waste is a problem we can solve together. That's why we're working with changemakers across society - from politicians to school children - to drive a movement that puts an end to the world's most senseless problem.
By saving meals through Too Good To Go, you're powering the force for change. A planet with no food waste is a better place to be. And together, we can make it happen.
Since 2016, the Too Good To Go has
Rescued 1,956,907 Magic Bags from being wasted
Saved 4,892,268 kg of CO2e
Partnered with 3,891 UK businesses in the fight against food waste
For further information, please visit https://toogoodtogo.co.uk/en-gb/about-us
Coronavirus leads to fears UK could miss food waste targets
Published: 30 Jun 2020
Organics recycling company Warrens Group has warned the UK could miss its sustainable development goal to halve food waste by 2030 due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
UN Sustainable Development Goals aim to cut global food waste by half by 2030 and address its significant carbon and methane footprint.
Warren Quigley, Warrens Group's commercial director, said: "A lot of food companies have pledged to tackle food waste, but Covid-19 has thrown many off-track and forced them to look at different ways of operating.
"We realise that there have been fluctuations in customer-ordering patterns for restaurants, but the spike in waste during lockdown means that a lot has been ending up in the bin."
Mr Quigley suggested restaurants so far unable to open may dump large amounts of food as they prepare to reopen from July.
He added: "Overall, if we don't act now this will contribute to a bigger carbon footprint and restaurants and takeaways need to keep this front of mind as we head out of lockdown."
Research published in May by online food ordering company Just Eat and the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA) suggests takeaway restaurants have generated 25% more food waste than normal during the coronavirus lockdown.
And, the report suggests the average cost of food waste produced weekly in UK takeaway restaurants has risen from £111 pre-lockdown to £148.
However, the research also found UK households have saved an average of £3.2 million a week by making the most of the takeaways they order following the introduction of lockdown measures.
Mr Quigley said: "It does seem as though the empty supermarket shelves and stockpiling has heightened people's awareness of food waste in the home, which is good news.
"If we can manage food waste now, it may act as a catalyst for the food waste industry to engage and educate the public about the environmental and economic benefits."
Based in County Durham, Warrens Group is a subsidiary of BioCapital LTD.
The company says it works with farmers, the public sector and private companies to recycle food waste to generate electricity, heat and biofertiliser at its anaerobic digestion facility in Newton Aycliffe.
For further information, please visit https://www.letsrecycle.com/news/latest-news/coronavirus-leads-to-fears-uk-could-miss-food-waste-targets/
Defra food waste initiatives bear fruit
Published: 30 Jun 2020
Every year, 190,000 tonnes of edible food goes to waste from retailers and manufacturers which could be redistributed. Defra is taking bold action to tackle this issue head on - spearheading a number of initiatives to get more surplus food to those who need it.
Last year, the first tranche of our £15 million food waste initiative saw four companies receive a combined £4 million to drive this effort forward. A year on, this ambitious work is bearing real fruit - with new schemes already diverting tonnes of edible food to charity centres across the country and new highly skilled teams in place to find new, innovative ways to reach hard to reach surplus food.
A second fund of £3 million, delivered by our partner organisation WRAP as part of their Resource Action Fund, is currently supporting 17 redistribution organisations carry out Food Waste Prevention work across the country. In light of the coronavirus outbreak, £2 million has been awarded to redistribution organisations to help charities with their food offer during this challenging time, which is still open for small grant applications.
Environment Minister Rebecca Pow said:
I am determined that we find new and innovative ways to ensure perfectly good, nutritious food does not end up in the bin and is instead redistributed to those who need it.
We have already committed £15 million to cut food waste, and have increased this during the coronavirus pandemic to support this effort even more. This huge challenge has highlighted the value of food and, more than ever, the importance of ensuring good food does not go to waste.
Two organisations helping to spearhead the charge in reducing food waste are FareShare UK and Company Shop Group. Each received nearly £2 million in the first round of Defra funding last year,
Company Shop Group, which consists of the UK's largest commercial redistribution organisation Company Shop and social enterprise Community Shop, redistributes surplus food and household products to people working in the NHS, emergency services and food supply chain, and to those in low-income communities.
Using the £1.9 million in funding from Defra, the company has kick started a project to target the hardest to reach surplus food and redistribute this to where it is needed most. Its social enterprise Community Shop, which runs a network of five social supermarket stores across England, also received £50,000 in Covid-19 funding to support its efforts to combat the challenges of the pandemic.
Jane Marren, Managing Director of Company Shop Group, said:
We welcome the significant steps the Government has taken to support the reduction of food waste, and its recognition and investment in the surplus redistribution industry which is a crucial mechanism for achieving ambitious waste reduction targets.
We strongly believe business is a powerful force for social good, and this approach has never been more important than in today's circumstances. The funding provided by Defra and WRAP will enable us to redistribute even more surplus stock, support our food, drink, retail and hospitality industries, and most importantly, enable us to provide a life-line to even more communities in need.
FareShare has also used the £1.9 million they received in Defra funding, as well as an additional £444,000 during the coronavirus period, to enable them and their network partners to access many thousands of tonnes of surplus food with new equipment, vehicles and staff - saving this from the bin and delivering it to charities and communities across the country.
Lindsay Boswell, CEO of FareShare UK, said:
Getting good food to vulnerable people in the UK and cutting down food waste is our top priority, and this has never been more important than now during the coronavirus pandemic. The £1.9 million of Defra funding in 2019 helped us significantly, and combined with subsequent coronavirus grants, FareShare has gained access to many thousands of tonnes of surplus food.
The organisations we work with do truly amazing work and we're very proud to be working with them to help thousands of people across the country.
One beneficiary of emergency coronavirus funding was Oxfordshire-based charity SOFEA, which in partnership with FareShare rescues and re-distributes hundreds of tonnes of surplus food each year to charities throughout the Thames Valley region, supporting families in need while reducing food waste.
Through the £5 million COVID-19 Emergency Surplus Food Grant, SOFEA have been awarded £50,000 to provide additional warehouse racking and the installation of two walk-in freezers.
Richard Kennell, CEO of SOFEA, said:
The funding will allow us to increase our capacity to handle all types of food, including ambient, frozen and chilled. As we come out of the Covid-19 crisis it will enable our charity partners to be sure they can access a regular supply of nutritious food for their clients, particularly in the aftermath of the pandemic where we expect to see increased need.
For further information, please visit https://www.gov.uk/government/news/defra-food-waste-initiatives-bear-fruit
Summer salad days
Published: 18 May 2020
As we move to warmer days and the alfresco season many of you will have a riot of colourful fresh and seasonal produce in your fridge. How long they stay looking as good as the day you bought them home will depend on how well you store them.
Limp lettuce and squashy avocado happen all too quickly in many households and this is likely to be caused by an invisible gas called ethylene which all fruit and vegetables give off naturally as they ripen. Some produce, such as asparagus, lettuce, celery, and spinach are particularly sensitive to the gas and are in trouble right away if sitting beside tomatoes, avocados, melon, and mangoes, for instance; produce which generate high levels of ethylene.
All fruit and vegetables, once harvested, are keen to breakdown and many produce seeds. Ethylene is the natural plant hormone which helps them to do so. Ethylene gas is not harmful to humans and does not smell, you will only know it has been working in the environment when your bananas turn brown quickly or your lettuce goes limp.
The storage life of sensitive produce can be extended by keeping them separate from those that emit excessive Ethylene. However, as our salad bowl make up has moved on from just a bit of lettuce, cucumber and tomatoes to many more exciting and exotic additions, storage of produce has become more challenging too.
Controlling ethylene and other harmful invisible bacteria and spores in and around fresh produce takes a bit of time and effort when transporting from the shop and then to placing in storage in the fridge or fruit bowl. However, a bit of time and effort will reward you with fresher and tastier fresh produce for longer. The chart above shows how keeping the worst gas guzzling offender away from those that ruin the party.
Another option and much simpler way is to neutralise the ethylene in your storage area. Fresh Pod for instance, uses a natural process to remove ethylene as well as other harmful bacteria and spores and will extend the life of fresh fruit and vegetables (works on flowers too) by up to four times. Therefore, ensuring you enjoy your salad fresh, crispy and tasty and whilst it retains essential nutrients. Fresh Pod works on organics too.
With most households likely to create more fresh produce waste during the warmer weather, careful storage of fruit and vegetables will go a long way to saving money associated with food waste as well as reduce the amount of fresh produce unnecessarily thrown away.
For further information, please visit https://www.freshpod.co.uk/shop/
Brits cut food waste with 'lockdown larders' during coronavirus pandemic
Published: 17 Apr 2020
It is a snapshot of a more abstemious nation, as staying at home and being unable to eat out means Britons are making their food go further and throwing less away.
Consumers are rising to the challenge of a "lockdown larder" as a result of the pandemic, and ignoring recommendations on best-before and use-by labels and piling less food on to their plates, new research has revealed.
Cooking from scratch, having "virtual" dinner parties online, and eating more family meals together are some of the positive shifts in shopping and cooking behaviour under way in households across the UK since restaurants and pubs closed, according to a survey by the environmental charity Hubbub.
Yet the findings also reveal that many are struggling to put meals on the table and are worried about food, with increasing numbers turning to food banks for the first time.
Overall, 90% of consumers polled earlier in April say their shopping and cooking habits have changed since the coronavirus lockdown started. More than half (57%) admit they value food more now since the restrictions kicked in, with 43% enjoying it more.
In the drive to eke out the contents of their fridges and larders, one in six are paying less attention to use-by dates, eating more out-of-date food than usual. One respondent retrieved a can of beans from 1989 at the back of their cupboard. Others used up a can of coconut milk six years past its sell-by date and a six-year-old bag of pasta - with no ill effects. Portion control also plays a part, with 27% serving up more accurate portion sizes and one in four leaving less on the plate.
Fears that the surge in panic buying and stockpiling before the lockdown would lead to an increase in food waste levels appear not to have materialised. Almost half of people (48%) said they were throwing away less food and only 5% were throwing away more.
Of those wasting less, more than half (51%) said they were planning meals more carefully (51%) and getting better at using up their leftovers. Consumers are also making better use of their freezer, with about a third using it more and freezing a wider variety of foods.
Trewin Restorick, chief executive of Hubbub, said: "At what is a deeply troubling time, it's encouraging to see some really positive changes taking place in households across the country.
"Families are eating together more, young people are learning to cook, people are planning meals better and using up leftovers. However, it's concerning to see some of the downsides of food restrictions impacting on the health of people's diets and I was horrified by the recent report from the Food Foundation, which showed that 3 million people have gone full days without meals since lockdown started."
Despite the generally positive experience of reconnecting with food, nearly half said they were more worried about food than before and a similar proportion were anxious about the extra cost of putting food on the table.
The consumer group Which? advises that while the rules can be bent for some products, those on fresh and processed meat, poultry and fish should not. Anyone classed as vulnerable or with underlying health conditions should also adhere to the dates on the labels. Unlike use-by dates, best-before labels are put on foods as a quality indication to show that though they are no longer at their best they are still safe enough to eat.
For further information, please visit https://www.theguardian.com/food/2020/apr/18/food-waste-lockdown-larders-coronavirus-food-banks
Isolation on the horizon
Published: 18 Mar 2020
With COVID-19 appearing to have topped the conversation charts across the UK overtaking Brexit and even the weather as the most talked about subject, Fresh Pod have taken into considertion that most of the UK are buying in bulk and hibernating for the next couple of weeks.
Whilst we hope most people will still be out and about over the coming weeks and months many will be preparing to spend more time at home in isolation for a considerable period of time.
It is possible to purchase fresh produce and store for a length of time, in the home, with it staying fresh, crispier and tastier for up to four times longer.
Fresh Pod is already being used by thousands of households in the UK and is the perfect fridge and fruit bowl companion.
Produce stays perfectly fresh for a long amount of time, reducing food waste and until eaten, and in a completely safe and natural way.
With supermarkets cutting down on stock and setting limits on how many items the public can buy, Fresh Pod are here to put your mind at ease. Use a money saving pod in your fridge, flowers, fruit bowl, lunch box or even cool box to prolong the life of your fruit and veg by up to 4 times longer, therefore saving you money and the amount of trips you need to go to the supermarket.
For further information, please visit https://www.facebook.com/freshpod/
Baker who recycles bread expands waste-busting range
Published: 11 Mar 2020
It started on a modest scale with so-called "waste bread" - repurposing unsold bread that might otherwise go to waste into a new, larger sourdough loaf.
Now there are savoury crackers made with leftover cheese ends, baguettes turned into croutons, and day-old croissants filled with fresh ingredients. It's all part of a drive by a UK bakery chain to become a zero-waste business.
At least 25 new products and initiatives are promised over the coming year by Gail's, as part of an entire Waste Not range of foods which aims to cut down on ingredients squandered throughout the company's supply chain.
Globally, the UN estimates global food waste causes about $940bn (£770bn) a year in economic losses. It says a third of the world's food is wasted while one in nine people remain malnourished, while food waste also accounts for 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions.
Surplus bread remains one of the biggest waste problems for food retailers, according to the UK government's food waste adviser Wrap, particularly from freshly baked lines which have a short shelf life. It is also wasted in our homes: Britons throw away 24m slices a day.
The original "waste bread" is made from strong white flour, malt, and a decades-old sourdough "starter", mixed with so-called "bread porridge" - a brownish, flecked mush of fresh breadcrumbs from leftover loaves blitzed into tiny pieces.
"We freshly bake all our products every day and obviously we don't know how much we are going to sell," said Gail's co-founder Tom Molnar. "The waste sourdough bread has proved very popular with our customers, and as a result, we decided to review our entire range of products and ingredients to see how best to tackle waste. It seems a good example of the circular economy in action and reflects the philosophy of our business."
The circular economy model - which aims to use closed-loop production to keep resources in play for as long as possible - is being increasingly used in a range of different sectors from food, packaging, plastics and fashion.
For further information, please visit https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/09/baker-who-recycles-bread-expands-waste-busting-range
Slim my waste, feed my face
Published: 11 Mar 2020
Decorate your food waste bin with a face - then feed it all your food waste and share your ace face pictures on social media with the hashtags #Slimmywaste #FeedmyfaceSWP
Rolling out in coming weeks, Slim My Waste, Feed My Face will see thousands of rubbish and food waste bins transformed into colourful eye-catching reminders to recycle every scrap of food waste.
Slim My Waste, Feed My Face teams will give every household's rubbish bin a bright yellow tape measure round it its middle, a "no food waste" notice on top, and deliver each home an information pack on why food recycling is so important.
Fun stickers in each Slim My Waste pack means every resident from the young to the young at heart can decorate their bin to give it a great new face and powerful personality as a happy "feed my face" hint about recycling all waste food. And do share the pictures on social media with #FeedMyFaceSWP; your ace face could win free eco-goodies.
Slim My Waste, Feed My Face has already proved a big hit in Bristol in a campaign created by Bristol Waste Company, which saw a jump in food waste recycling, while earlier, less colourful food campaigns by Somerset Waste Partnership (SWP) were also a success.
No amount is too small - recycling six tea bags produces enough electricity to boil a kettle for another cuppa.
And big savings are possible; if every scrap of Somerset's food waste was recycled, it would save almost £1 million a year to fund other vital local services.
Most people in Somerset recycle their food waste, far more than the national average, perhaps because the county pioneered weekly food waste collections more than a decade ago.
There is still plenty more to do as the average Somerset rubbish bin still has too much food waste, which is the worst material to be sent to costly and wasteful landfill, especially as it decays to produce powerful climate change gases.
For about half the cost of landfill, all food waste can be recycled in Somerset by the anaerobic digestion plant near Bridgwater into electricity to power homes and nutrient-rich farm compost to grow more food.
All food waste - raw, cooked, fresh or "off", meat, fish, fruit or veg, pasta, cereal, bread and all plate scrapings - can be recycled every week, wrapped in newspaper or tied in compostable bags.
While Somerset families recycle a lot, any food in rubbish bins is a very costly waste of a valuable resource. This campaign will have a big impact, recycling thousands of tonnes of food waste, reducing carbon emissions and saving hundreds of thousands of pounds.
For further information, please visit https://www.somersetwaste.gov.uk/slider/slimmywaste/
We're worse with food waste than we think
Published: 18 Feb 2020
Common estimates for global food waste are too low, according to Dutch researchers, who suggest every person in the world is wasting about 500 calories of food a day.
Without waste, we could feed five people instead of four, they said.
The study found food waste goes up with the increase of money in our pockets, possibly reaching more than twice the levels we thought previously.
Reducing food waste is a key challenge in fighting climate change.
Wasted and lost food accounts for almost 10% of all our greenhouse gas emissions, according to the UN.
Stopping food waste is a win for consumers and it's definitely a win for the planet, said Dr Monika van den Bos Verma of Wageningen University in The Netherlands.
"Throwing food out in your dustbin is like throwing a five euro note out - why would you do that?"
Previous estimates have put global food waste at 214 calories per day per person (214 kilocalories/day/capita - a kilocalorie is another word for what's commonly called a calorie).
The researchers looked in detail at the issue of food waste, using data from the FAO, World Bank and World Health Organization (WHO).
Food waste started to rise above a daily income of about seven dollars per day.
And while the FAO estimated food waste to be 214 calories per day per person in the world in 2015, their model for the same year gave a figure of 527 calories.
"What we estimate is that FAO's original estimate of 214 kilocalories per capita per day is actually a vast underestimate of the global food waste as we measure it, because we have a factor two larger estimate of 527 kilocalories per capita per day," said Dr Thom Achterbosch, also of Wageningen University in the Netherlands.
Food waste is more of a problem in richer countries than we think but it's also going to rise faster in poorer countries, he added.
"From what we currently have in our kitchens we could feed five persons instead of four if we don't waste," he said.
The researchers point to some simple solutions for reducing food waste, such as reducing food portion sizes.
They say behavioural change is important, such as encouraging shoppers to switch from buying in excess or hoarding to buying "enough", with the thought that you can always buy more. And food must be valued and appreciated more in society.
The research, published in the journal, Plos One, did not include food lost in the production process before it gets to the consumer. The widely quoted figure of one third of all food available for human consumption lost or wasted is made up of both food lost before it reaches the consumer, which the study did not look at, and food wasted once it arrives in the kitchen.
The figures are global and give a basis for measuring progress towards the international goal to reduce food waste by half between 2015 and 2030.
"It's essentially the most sustainable way to solve part the problem of how to feed the world in the future," said co-researcher, Dr Martine Rutten.
For further information, please visit https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-51450727
Over £1m to fund food waste fight
Published: 18 Feb 2020
Businesses and not-for-profits in England will benefit from £1.15 million of funding to help them come up with creative new ways to tackle food waste by changing people's behaviour or transforming it into other materials.
From educating the public on how to store fresh food, to ideas such as turning food waste into new, edible products, grants will be available for creative solutions to address this pressing environmental challenge.
The government's Food Waste Champion, Ben Elliot, also announced today (30 January) he will hold the first ever 'Food Waste Action Week' from Monday 11 May and called on households and businesses across the country to join forces to reduce food waste.
With 4.5 million tonnes of food wasted every year, the new grants are the latest step in the government's drive to reduce food waste in the UK by 20% by 2025 and form part of a wider £15 million scheme to specifically address surplus food from the retail and manufacturing sectors.
Environment Minister Rebecca Pow said:
"The UK is a proud world leader in tackling food waste, owing in part to the innovation and creativity of many organisations across the UK - from educating the public on food waste in our homes, to making our supply chains greener.
"I look forward to supporting UK organisations who are taking up the mantle to tackle food waste and to create a better world for ourselves, as well as generations to come. It makes sense in every way - it cuts collection costs, saves the customer money and importantly reduces emissions which benefits the environment."
Announcing the first ever Food Waste Action Week, Government Food Waste Champion Ben Elliot said:
"The country's first ever Food Waste Action Week will be taking place from Monday 11th May and I encourage and implore everyone to get stuck in, joining together and taking the fight to food waste. More details will be provided shortly on what we must all do to reduce food waste at home and at work."
This comes as the government's landmark Environment Bill was introduced to Parliament today, reconfirming a commitment to reduce the UK's food waste footprint. It sets out how government will mandate weekly collections of food waste for every household, subject to consultation.
The UK is a global leader in tackling food waste, with the government pledging to reduce food waste by 20% by 2025 and total food waste levels already falling by 480,000 tonnes between 2015 and 2018. However, UK households still waste 4.5 million tonnes of food that could have been eaten every year, equivalent to ten billion meals.
The Citizen Food Waste Prevention and Value From Food Waste grants will be managed by sustainability not-for-profit WRAP, which works closely with governments, businesses and citizens to reduce food waste, from running public awareness campaigns such as Love Food Hate Waste, to working with local councils to offer residents separate food waste collections.
Peter Maddox, Director of WRAP, said:
"WRAP is pleased to be managing the Resource Action Fund on behalf of Defra.
"We are looking forward to receiving applications from innovative and imaginative programmes and projects that will have a real impact in reducing the level of food waste in our homes and making sure we get more value from food waste in supply chains - priorities for both WRAP and Defra."
This is the next step in the government's ambition to drive down food waste from all sources. Food Waste Champion Ben Elliot has also helped intensify action, with 129 of the biggest players in food, including all of the UK's major supermarkets, pledging to tackle the problem.
Today's funding is the latest in a series of government grants to help tackle food waste, with last year's Food Reduction Fund ensuring nearly 2,000 tonnes of surplus food did not go to waste.
Notes to Editors
The newly opened £1.15 million will be separated into two small-scale grants: The Citizen Food Waste Prevention grant (total worth of £650,000) and The Value from Food (total worth of £500,000) pilot project grant.
The Citizen Food Waste Prevention grant will award grants between £25,000 and £100,000 will be awarded to SME businesses and not-for-profit organisations who are inspiring the public to reduce their household food waste, such as through consumer education programmes on storing food appropriately and understanding their shelf life
The Value from Food Waste fund is open for collaborative projects from organisations of any size which are piloting methods to create useful materials out of food that would otherwise go to waste. Funding will be awarded for revenue and capital usage costs between £20,000 and £100,000.
In 2017, the government launched a £500,000 Food Waste Reduction fund, which supported eight projects in England redistribute 1,900 tonnes of food. The eight projects supported were: Action Homeless; His Church; FareShare UK; Fareshare Yorkshire; Feedback Global; Food in Community; Nuneaton & Bedworth HLN; REfUSE Durham.
For further information, please visit https://www.gov.uk/government/news/over-1m-to-fund-food-waste-fight
The huge problem of food waste could be twice as big as we thought
Published: 18 Feb 2020
Consumers around the world could be wasting more than twice as much food as thought, according to an analysis that says previous estimates have been gross underestimates.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) said in 2011 that around a third of food is lost or wasted. This report is considered to have played a key role in food waste reduction becoming one of the world's Sustainable Development Goals.
But the widely cited estimate appears to be wrong when it comes to the amount of food people waste at home because it fails to account for affluence, and how much more the rich waste than poorer people.
"The problem is much worse than we think. We have to wake up. I hope it's a wake-up call," says Monika van den Bos Verma at Wageningen University & Research in the Netherlands.
She and her team took an unusual approach to calculate global food waste. Due to a scarcity of comparable national data on such waste around the world, they instead inferred it. First, they compared how much food is produced - based on UN data on its availability - and how much is eaten, as calculated by the energy people need to consume and World Health Organization data on body mass from 63 countries. Finally, they used World Bank data to factor in affluence.
The result: an average person wastes around 527 kilocalories (kcal) a day. That is about one-fifth of the 2500 kcals the average man needs to maintain a healthy body weight, according to the UK's National Health Service, or a quarter of the daily recommended intake for a woman. The previous FAO estimate of food waste per person only came to 214 kcals a day.
The new figures are for 2005, due to data availability and to allow a comparison to the UN research. Van den Bos Verma found that food waste starts to become a serious issue when people reach a total spending power of $6.70 a day.
She says the work shows the importance of looking at different consumer attributes. "Food waste is a luxury when you're poor, it's not when you're richer. The value of food, it goes down [as you get richer]. It's also availability: the more you have, the more you're likely to waste."
Food waste matters because of the hungry people it could have fed, the environmental impacts from producing food and the climate change contribution it has when disposed of in landfill.
There are limitations to the new analysis. It only covers 67 per cent of the world population, and doesn't draw on data from some big food-wasting countries, including the US.
The FAO says the research provides new insights, but should be viewed as part of a body of literature. Andrea Cattaneo at the FAO has some doubts about the results, such as Japan coming out as a country that wastes lots of food, which he says is unlikely to reflect the reality. "The study is by no means the definitive word on the levels of consumer waste," he says. "It is one more estimate."
The UK's waste agency, WRAP, says it has used a similar approach to the Dutch team, but found it tended to significantly overestimate the amount of food consumers waste. Rather than using modelling alone, it advises collecting real household waste data and getting people to keep waste diaries.
Van den Bos Verma says the biggest assumption the new analysis makes is that poorer countries will develop the same way as rich ones have in the past. That risks a "brewing potential future problem" of even more food waste, she and her colleagues warn. Fortunately, a spike in food waste isn't a given because public education programmes and cultural differences could alter behaviour, says Van den Bos Verma.
For further information, please visit https://www.newscientist.com/article/2232923-the-huge-problem-of-food-waste-could-be-twice-as-big-as-we-thought/
UK's food waste mountain has shrunk 480,000 tonnes since 2015
Published: 18 Feb 2020
The organisation's latest report on the Courtauld Commitment 2025, which targets a 20% reduction in total food waste per person against a 2007 baseline, reveals that food waste fell by 7% on a per-person basis between 2015 and 2018.
WRAP attributes this trend to both business and household action. On the business front, food firms representing half of sector turnover have set time-bound numerical commitments to tackle food waste - many through WRAP's Roadmap.
While food waste from households continued to account for the largest proportion of the UK's food waste mountain in 2018, WRAP recorded a decrease of 1.4 million tonnes of waste from domestic sources between 2007 and 2018. The organisation noted that several behaviour change campaigns have been run around household food waste in that time period, including 'Love Food, Hate Waste' and VegPower's 'Eat Them to Defeat Them'.
Looking at food waste across the entire value chain, WRAP concluded that food waste reductions since 2015 have saved more than £1bn annually.
But the organisation is warning that there is still "much more to do" if the UK wants to meet Sustainable Development Goal 12.3 - halving food waste by 2030 - and to reach its long-term climate targets. Landfilled food releases carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases over time, making it a contributor to climate change. The UK's own Committee on Climate Change (CCC) recommends that food waste is cut by one-fifth between 2021 and 2050 in order to reach net-zero.
"Halving food waste by 2030] really matters because it is untenable that we carry on wasting food on such a monumental scale when we are seeing the visible effects of climate change every day, and when nearly a billion people go hungry every day," WRAP chief executive Marcus Gover said.
"This great news announced today means we are starting to wake up to the reality of food waste, but we are too often turning a blind eye to what is happening in our homes."
While praising business progress on food waste reduction - and the Government's boost for business support on the issue over the past two years - WRAP is urging more action on the 4.5 million tonnes of foods wasted in UK homes, from citizens, business and Government alike.
On the Government piece, the Resources and Waste Strategy includes proposals for weekly household food waste collections to be offered to all UK residents. But consultations around implementing this change are ongoing. As such, the collections are not likely to be rolled out until 2023.
As for businesses, WRAP has long been campaigning for retailers to change labelling in order to reduce confusion around 'best before' dates, which indicate that the quality of a product may deteriorate, and 'use by' dates, which indicate when it becomes less safe to consume the food. The organisation estimates that around 600,000 tonnes of consumer food waste are triggered each year due to the misunderstanding. In the absence of policy mandating them to do so, WRAP also encourages businesses to redistribute surplus food wherever possible, forging partnerships to do so if necessary.
Supply chains are an additional bugbear for WRAP. Since 2015, businesses have recorded, on average, a food waste reduction of just 4% in this space.
Responding to WRAP's report, Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers said: ". As a world-leader in the fight against food waste, it is good news that we are making a real difference.
"But while this is encouraging, there is more to be done - and I urge all households, individuals and businesses to consider how they can reduce their own food waste footprint to create a better world for generations to come."
For further information, please visit https://www.edie.net/news/5/Report--UK-s-food-waste-mountain-has-shrunk-480-000-tonnes-since-2015/
Horecava 2020 - Success in numbers!
Published: 17 Jan 2020
Fresh Pod and Chill Pod enjoyed a productive four days exhibiting on the East of England stand in Amsterdam at the food and drink event - Horecava 2020. Joining 20 local food and drink producers, the group won over hearts and minds of many of the thousands of visitors, all looking for new ideas for their retail shelves and menu's.
Fresh Pod already has an agent in the Netherlands and the Fresh Pod team were joined for part of the event by business partners Willem and John. Reassuring potential customers that any orders placed will be followed through seamlessly from ordering through to delivery. With the Amsterdam fruit, vegetables and flower markets supplying into the UK and Europe and the amount of land allocated to agriculture in the Netherlands, both Chill Pod and Fresh Pod are developing a strong foothold through the Netherlands and into Europe.
Fresh Pod takes on Horecava
Published: 10 Jan 2020
Fresh Pod and Chill Pod exhibiting at Horecava 2020!
Fresh Pod & Chill Pod will be exhibiting for the second year at Horecava 2020. We welcome customers both old and new to join us at any time, on the stand, over the 4 days.
We would like to invite you to join us for the Norfolk and Suffolk drinks reception at the pavilion from 4pm on Tuesday 14th January. 20 local food and drink producers alongside, Fresh Pod and Chill Pod, will be waiting to greet you and there will be a selection of locally produced products for all to enjoy.
What is Horecava?
Horecava is the largest food and drink expo in the Netherlands, offering an innovative and inspiring trade fair attracting over 66,000 catering professionals from 40,000 businesses in the food service industry, covering over 100,000m2 floor space.
The Norfolk and Suffolk pavilion will be showcasing world class food and drink produce from across the region, providing companies from Norfolk and Suffolk with a fantastic opportunity to attend the show and meet with buyers and distributors from across Europe. Fresh Pod and Chill Pod are suppliers to the industry.
For further information, please visit https://www.horecava.nl/
Just a note:
Published: 3 Dec 2019
According to The Big Issue, two million turkeys, five million Christmas puddings and over 74 million mince pies are wasted every year at Christmas in the UK. With the estimated number of 270. 000 tonnes of food wasted in the UK each year, half of brits have said that they usually overspend on food at Christmas, but for what?
Fruit bowls brimming with exotic fresh produce and fridges crammed with fruit and vegetables to cater for extra guests, the majority of us cater for more than usual over the festive period. Often the additional purchases end up wasted as they become an unnecessary additional buy. You only have to look at the number of black bags at the end of every street to see just how much waste is created at Christmas. An alternative to throwing away the excess is to pop a Fresh Pod in with the produce to extend their life by up to 4 times longer than normal.
Not only will this exceptional little pod help to reduce the amount of food your household wastes over the Christmas period but it will also decrease the amount of money you spend; £480 per household according to WRAP in 2006! At the low cost of £12.99, a 12-month kit will pay for itself over and over again by extending shelf life of fruit and vegetables for up to four times longer. Fresh Pod is in 1000s of households and after 10 years of saving money for those families its track record is well proven as a natural and safe choice.
Use the pod this Christmas as the perfect stocking filler or even a general gift for friends, family or colleagues. An unusual but useful and exciting gift. Not only are they useful and will last a full year (much longer than many presents received) they will also save the recipient a considerable amount of money by reducing their food waste over the course of 2020.
How Fresh Pod works:
Ethylene gas is given off naturally from fruit, vegetables and flowers as they mature which means that your fruit and vegetables will have a reduced shelf life. Increased wastages adds pressure to household budgets.
Fresh Pod utilises organically approved ethylene absorbing zeolite pellets. A reaction oxidises ethylene gas converting the filter material to manganese dioxide which is an excellent plant fertiliser also approved for organics. Fresh Pod eliminates 98.9% of ethylene gas in a safe and non-toxic way.
By controlling the levels of ethylene gas in your fridge, fruit bowl or vase of flowers this will extend the shelf life for up to four times longer all of which has financial benefits.
How do I use Fresh Pod?
One individual Fresh Pod sachet is about the size of a teabag and when placed in its pod in the fridge, will ensure that the content stays fresher for longer. Make sure you take them out of their plastic wrappers. Various sizes and packs can be purchased depending on your needs. When the time comes for the sachet to be changed, usually around six months, the contents make a fantastic fertiliser that you can use to feed your house plants.
7 reasons to why you should purchase a Fresh Pod this Christmas:
1. Expands fruit, veg and flowers life expectancy to up to 4 times longer as tested and approved by trading standards.
2. Saves the average UK house hold £480 per year according to WRAP in 2006.
3. Completely safe - Fresh Pod absorbs ethylene without unnatural intervention.
4. Only £12.99 for a 12-month kit (including P&P) or £7.95 for a refill kit (including P&P).
5. Approved for organics - Fresh Pod neutralises ethylene, airborne fungal spores and bacteria.
6. Environmentally friendly - Our founding ethos to reduce waste naturally with a 100% recyclable product.
7. Expired Fresh Pods can be used as a natural fertilizer. Reduce, re-use, recycle.
The Fresh Pod team would like to wish you a very fresh and waste free Christmas.
For further information about Fresh Pod call (01603) 702374.
Keep up to date on relevant news, promotions or sales on our social media accounts both located on Twitter (@FreshPodUk) or Instagram (@freshpod).
Tesco vows to remove one billion pieces of plastic packaging by end of 2020
Published: 1 Nov 2019
'Last year Tesco produced 18 billion pieces of plastic, so they've got plenty of work to do but it's a good start', campaigners say.
Britain's biggest retailer Tesco has pledged to remove one billion pieces of plastic from products by the end of 2020 as it seeks to reduce its environmental impact and meet consumer demand for less waste.
The supermarket will end its use of small plastic bags, commonly used to pack loose fruit, vegetables and bakery items, and replace them with paper ones.
It will also remove plastic trays from ready meals, secondary lids on products such as cream and yoghurt, sporks and straws from snack pots and drinks cartons, and 200 million wrappers used to pack clothing and greetings cards.
Where non-recyclable and excess packaging cannot be removed, for example where it prevents food waste, the retailer has pledged to reduce it to an absolute minimum. It is also looking at new ways to reuse its packaging, stating "if packaging can't be recycled, it will have no place at Tesco".
"Last year Tesco produced more than 18 billion pieces of plastic, so they've still got plenty of work to do, but this is a good start and we hope to see further reductions when it introduces its reusable packaging scheme for online orders in the New Year," said Louise Edge, head of Greenpeace UK's ocean plastics campaign
Tesco met 1,500 suppliers in August to let them know that packaging will form a key part of its decision-making process to determine which products it sells, and that it reserved the right to no longer stock items that use excessive or hard-to-recycle materials.
Tesco chief executive Dave Lewis said: "Our work to 'Remove, Reduce, Reuse & Recycle' is already transforming our packaging. Over the next 12 months, we will remove one billion pieces of plastic, further reducing the environmental impact of the products we sell.
"By focusing on solutions that we can apply across all our UK stores and supply chain, we can make a significant difference and achieve real scale in our efforts to tackle plastic."
WWF UK's sustainable materials specialist Paula Chin said: "Plastic pollution is the most visible symptom of the environmental crisis we're currently facing.
"Businesses, governments and households have all got an important part to play, so it's good to see Tesco's commitment to significantly reduce the amount of plastic we use."
Britons have become increasingly aware of the amount of plastic they use following David Attenborough's "Blue Planet II" documentary which highlighted the dangers of plastic pollution to marine life.
In recent years Britain has slashed the use of plastic bags by introducing a 5 pence charge for each one. The government has also considered imposing a "latte levy" on disposable coffee cups which are hard to recycle.
Ms Edge said: "Tesco is absolutely doing the right thing in looking to reduce the number of pieces of plastic packaging it produces.
"When supermarkets focus solely on reducing their packaging by weight, this can trigger a policy of light-weighting - meaning packaging gets thinner or smaller, but still exists as a throwaway item that can pollute our waterways and harm marine wildlife."
The announcement is the latest by retailers undergoing large-scale targeting of packaging waste.
In September, Sainsbury's pledged to halve the amount of plastic used in its stores by 2025.
For further information, please visit https://www.independent.co.uk/environment/tesco-plastic-packaging-waste-bags-environment-trays-lids-a9180691.html
Lidl passes four million meal milestone in food waste redistribution initiative
Published: 1 Nov 2019
Lidl has redistributed the equivalent of more than four million meals since 2017, the German supermarket chain revealed today, as it announced plans to donate a further 250,000 meals to community groups before Christmas 2019.
The giveaway is part of Lidl's Feed It Back initiative, which aims to slash food waste across the retailer's supply chain, targeting a 25 per cent reduction per store by the end of 2020.
Launched in 2017, Feed It Back has redistributed more than 1,800 tonnes of surplus food among more than 1,500 organisations, the firm announced today, providing the equivalent of 4.3 million meals.
This winter, the firm is partnering with the charitable platform Neighbourly to give away a further 250,000 meals between 6 November and 25 December. Community projects interested in being involved can visit www.Neighbourly.com/FeedItBack to register, the firm said.
"We're proud to work with Neighbourly, the food redistribution organisation connecting our stores with over 1,500 local charities, food banks and community groups who make good use of surplus food," said Christian Härtnagel, CEO at Lidl GB. "This way, as well as cutting down on food waste, we're able to support the important work these groups are doing for the people who need it most - particularly around Christmas time."
The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation estimates that around a third of the food humanity produces each year ends up as waste. The environmental consequences are huge: were it a country, food waste would be the third largest emitter in the world.
Within the UK, 240,000 tonnes of food is wasted by UK supermarkets every year, according to figures from waste charity Wrap.
For further information, please visit https://www.businessgreen.com/bg/news/3083285/lidl-passes-four-million-meal-milestone-in-food-waste-redistribution-initiative
Arla UK changing labels to tackle food waste
Published: 8 Oct 2019
According to a OnePoll survey, more than a third of those polled in the UK are unsure of the difference between 'best before' and 'use by' labels on produce.
For further information, please visit HTTPS://WWW.DAIRYREPORTER.COM/ARTICLE/2019/09/10/ARLA-UK-CHANGING-LABELS-TO-TACKLE-FOOD-WASTE
Fruit, vegetables and wine will be scarce and costly under no-deal Brexit, warn retailers
Published: 8 Oct 2019
Fresh fruit, vegetables and wine are among the products likely to become scarcer and more expensive after a no-deal Brexit, according to a flurry of warnings issued by retailers and the drinks industry.
The department store chain John Lewis and the Co-op supermarket said customers' weekly shop could be disrupted, amid concerns that retailers will have to fly in supplies if the chaos predicted in leaked government documents becomes a reality.
It came as the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) criticised the government for "reneging" on plans for a nine-month suspension of paperwork on imports on wine, the UK's most popular alcoholic drink, if no deal is reached with Brussels.
In an open letter to Brexit ministers Michael Gove and Stephen Barclay, the WSTA said the added administrative burden on imports would force up the price of a bottle of wine by 10p, reduce choice, and cost the thriving UK wine industry £70m.
Importers who rely on the flow of niche wines from the EU could be devastated, the trade body warned, while the UK could lose its position as the global wine hub "overnight".
John Lewis also gave a grim Brexit forecast as it reported its first-ever half-year loss - of £26m.
Its chairman, Sir Charlie Mayfield, a former government adviser, said the effect of leaving without a deal would be "significant and it will not be possible to mitigate that impact". He said Waitrose, part of the John Lewis group, has been stockpiling some products, including wine, olive oil and canned goods, but could not stave off disruption to the import of fresh food across the Channel.
Mayfield believes people could be put off buying non-essential items from John Lewis in the run-up to Christmas if consumers anxious about economic turmoil curb their spending.
The Co-op chief executive, Steve Murrells, is particularly worried about fruit because he expects prices to increase.
Murrells said the convenience chain was attempting to mitigate the potential impact by stockpiling long-life products such as water, toilet paper and canned goods but was struggling to manage logistics for fruit such as blueberries, apples and pears, which are imported during the British winter.
"We think there will be shortages in some fresh food areas," he said. "Where that is the case, we would endeavour to bring it in to give our customers a choice."
To avoid empty shelves the Co-op would resort to using air freight to bring in fruit. The retailer sells British meat only, so those supply lines would not be affected.
There were "very early signs" that Britons were stockpiling, Murrells said, predicting hoarding could intensify the closer the country gets to no deal.
He said securing a deal was "the only way to avoid the inevitable impact on our customers".
The chief executive of Morrisons, David Potts, said the supermarket chain's contingency plans included switching to alternative ferry crossings such as Le Havre to Portsmouth if the Dover-Calais route became gridlocked as well as measured stockpiling in the run-up to the deadline.
The retailer has also secured Authorised Economic Operator certification, which Potts likened to "speedy boarding" as members of the scheme were less likely to be stopped at customs.
In an apparent reference to a quote by the boxer Mike Tyson, he said the supermarket chain had plans but that "everyone has got a plan until you get punched in the face".
Flagging its concerns for wine retailers, the WSTA said its members could end up "drowning" in red tape, including 600,000 extra customs forms, after it was told by government officials that they will not abide by an earlier promise to waive paperwork on wine imports.
The WSTA said this would cost the industry £70m and threaten the UK's position as the global hub of wine, as well as adding 10p to the price of a bottle, forcing the cost of the prime minister Boris Johnson's favourite Tuscan Tignanello up to £180.10.
"We can only conclude from this that government doesn't understand the value of the UK wine industry nor the value of imports in general to the UK economy," said the WSTA chief executive, Miles Beale.
"The burden of import certificates for wine will not simply fall on EU businesses - their pain will be shared by UK importers and ultimately UK consumers."
The WSTA's concerns revolve around the extra administrative burden that would be required in order to keep wine flowing into the UK from the EU in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
Imports would require certificates known as VI 1 forms, as well as expensive lab analysis, meaning higher costs and delays for the 55% of Britain's wine imports that come from the EU.
For further information, please visit https://www.theguardian.com/business/2019/sep/12/co-op-boss-warns-of-no-deal-brexit-fresh-food-shortages-and-price-hikes
No-Deal Brexit Could Lead to Vegetable Shortages, U.K. Warns
Published: 8 Oct 2019
A no-deal Brexit could cause shortages of some fresh fruits and vegetables because of possible threats to time-sensitive supply chains, the U.K. government warned.
The "just-in-time" nature of grocery logistics in the U.K., which imports half the food it eats, means even short delays at the border could reduce the availability of a "limited number of short shelf-life" goods, according to a report Tuesday.
The update on the U.K.'s preparedness for a possible disorderly EU exit was released hours after Prime Minister Boris Johnson's government cast further doubt on prospects for a deal, following a call with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Around 30% of the food eaten in the U.K. comes from other EU countries.
Britain's government also raised the possibility it may flout EU rules that provide special guarantees for foods that originate from a certain region, such as Champagne or feta cheese. EU guidelines ensure that more than 3,000 types of agricultural products benefit from these so-called geographical indicators.
In the report, the government said that in a no-deal scenario, Britain would no longer be required to recognize this status and noted that the EU hasn't yet formally made such a request. The U.K. will establish its own such framework on Oct. 31 to ensure the continued protection of British products in domestic markets.
Last month, British supermarket chain Wm Morrison Supermarkets Plc said the October deadline will come after the U.K. growing season for salad and fruit, increasing reliance on European imports. Britain's two biggest grocers, Tesco Plc and J Sainsbury Plc, warned in July that the government couldn't have picked a worse date for leaving the EU.
Read More: What a Crash Out of the EU May Look Like
Michael Gove, the cabinet minister charged with no-deal Brexit planning, told Parliament Tuesday that a hard exit will bring challenges, but they will be overcome.
The government published its worst-case scenario for a no-deal Brexit earlier this summer in a document it tried to keep secret. Code-named Yellowhammer, it described how a disorderly exit would "reduce availability and choice of products" in U.K. supermarkets, as well as increase prices.
For further information, please visit https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-10-08/no-deal-brexit-could-hit-fruit-and-vegetable-supply-u-k-warns
Unilever announces new commitments on food waste
Published: 7 Oct 2019
Unilever, owner of brands including Dove, Ben & Jerry's, Lipton and Omo, has committed to reducing plastic waste and helping to create a circular economy for plastics.
Unilever has confirmed that by 2025 it will:
Halve its use of virgin plastic, by reducing its absolute use of plastic packaging by more than 100,000 tonnes and accelerating its use of recycled plastic.
Help collect and process more plastic packaging than it sells.
This commitment makes Unilever the first major global consumer goods company to commit to an absolute plastics reduction across its portfolio.
Alan Jope, ceo of Unilever, commented: "Plastic has its place, but that place is not in the environment. We can only eliminate plastic waste by acting fast and taking radical action at all points in the plastic cycle.
"Our starting point has to be design, reducing the amount of plastic we use, and then making sure that what we do use increasingly comes from recycled sources. We are also committed to ensuring all our plastic packaging is reusable, recyclable or compostable."
Jope added: "This demands a fundamental rethink in our approach to our packaging and products. It requires us to introduce new and innovative packaging materials and scale up new business models, like re-use and re-fill formats, at an unprecedented speed and intensity."
Unilever's commitment will require the business to help collect and process around 600,000 tonnes of plastic annually by 2025. This will be delivered through investment and partnerships which are set to improve waste management infrastructure in the countries in which Unilever operates.
Commenting on the commitments, Ellen MacArthur, founder of Ellen MacArthur Foundation, said: "Today's announcement by Unilever is a significant step in creating a circular economy for plastic. By eliminating unnecessary packaging through innovations such as refill, reuse, and concentrates, while increasing their use of recycled plastic, Unilever is demonstrating how businesses can move away from virgin plastics. We urge others to follow their lead, so collectively we can eliminate the plastic we don't need, innovate, so what we do need is circulated, and ultimately build an economic system where plastic packaging never becomes waste."
For further information, please visit https://www.conveniencestore.co.uk/products/unilever-announces-new-commitments-on-food-waste/598276.article
Grow your own: it's good for you and the environment
Published: 7 Oct 2019
Growing our own fruit and veg is something we should all consider, says gardening columnist Debbie McMorran - for the good of the environment and our own mental health.
In the last few weeks I've seen a number of advertisements for apple fairs and events. Looking out of the window I can also see quite a few which have fallen from the big apple tree in our back garden onto the lawn.
With the turning of the seasons, and the recent colder weather, it is the perfect time for making apple pies, to be served warm with lashings of custard. There are sure to be hundreds of people who attend the apple celebrations over the next few weeks - but I have been wondering how many of those attending will be drawn to grow their own apples in future?
With the current focus on sustainable living, and with huge pressure on supermarkets to start cutting down, and hopefully cutting out their use of single-use plastics altogether, it seems strange that people feel so passionately about these issues without considering doing something about it, and growing their own fruit and veg wherever possible.
For many people, of course, it's an issue with space. Green spaces are decreasing, and over-development means that with land being so valuable, many homes are now not given much garden at all.
Similarly, with the price of property being so high, when people do have the luxury of having a decent sized garden, they often either extend their homes (thus reducing their garden), or sell off land to make some money. These are some of the reasons that many people don't think they have enough room to grow their own fruit and vegetables. Of course, there are lots of ways around this - with many vegetables particularly, being suitable for container growing. Even apple trees can be found in small varieties, which don't need to take over your whole garden.
We are fast approaching another festival where thousands and thousands of vegetables which could be easily grown at home will be purchased in supermarkets. The origins of the Jack O'Lantern and its connection with Halloween, can be traced back to Ireland, where the pumpkin was not a native vegetable, and instead turnips were carved and a candle placed inside to ward off evil spirits. When Irish settlers arrived in America, this tradition soon evolved to the current tradition we know today, using pumpkins.
Pumpkins are relatively easy to grow, and don't need as much space as you might think. There is a lot of satisfaction in using a home-grown pumpkin to carve your lantern, but with the big supermarkets offering large pumpkins at such a low price, it almost certainly seems pointless to go to the effort of nurturing your own. It will be interesting to see whether - Brexit-dependent - we see a change in the prices of the items that we can buy in the supermarkets, and whether there is a move towards becoming more self-sufficient.
Having grown up in a home where the majority of our fruit and vegetables were grown at home, I have always been fortunate enough to not only benefit from the extra taste found in home-grown vegetables, but also to be eating food which hasn't travelled hundreds of food miles.
I can't help but wonder whether the ever increasing trend for eco-products - reusable water bottles, cotton produce bags and organic food - is because they are available in more expensive 'lifestyle' supermarkets such as Waitrose. There is no doubt that a fairly decent financial outlay is required to be able to keep up with all of these commendable lifestyle choices, and until we can address these high price-tags, we can't realistically expect those with lower incomes to be able to keep up with the sustainable food choices that are being promoted.
In bygone days, the idea of growing your own food was a way of saving money - people without high salaries wouldn't have dreamt of buying all of their fruit and vegetables when they could be grown at home for a fraction of the price. I think one thing that would bring this back into common practice would be if more spaces were opened up for allotments in local communities.
It is a wonderful thing that allotment waiting lists continue to exist as it shows there are still people who have a desire to grow their own, but sadly they do put people off. And often when people have the opportunity of a place, they keep hold of it for many years, in order to really see a good return on their crops - meaning that new allotment holders don't get a chance.
If local authorities could set aside more space to create new allotments when they are happily granting permission to developers to build more houses, we might find that there was a shift back to the old ways of doing things.
There wouldn't then be such an issue with single use plastics and food miles in supermarkets, as we would be all growing our own vegetables, and reaping the reward of not just the delicious food, but the boost to our mental health in the time spent outside nurturing them as they grow!
For further information, please visit https://www.hertsad.co.uk/property/grow-your-own-fruit-and-veg-1-6310209
Households urged to recycle food waste
Published: 6 Oct 2019
Latest figures show that households in Powys are recycling on average 69 kilogrammes of food waste per household a year, 10 per cent less than the rest of the county.
Now the council's Recycling and Waste Team want Newtown households to recycle all their food waste every week by using the weekly household kerbside collection service.
Councillor Heulwen Hulme, Cabinet Member for Environment, said: "Food waste collection rates across the county have been fluctuating in recent months with some excellent periods and others showing a decline.
"We want residents to recycle as much of their food waste as possible and will be on the streets in Newtown try to help households to get more from their waste service.
"On average, 75kg of food waste is being recycled per household in the county each year but the rate varies and we want to increase food waste collection rates and cut the volume going to landfill
"Sending food waste to landfill is expensive and bad for the environment. Using our kerbside collection service sees all food waste being recycled as it is sent to an anaerobic digestion facility in South Wales to make green energy and fertiliser for Welsh farmers."
An analysis of residual waste suggests that as much as 16 per cent of waste put into the black wheeled bin that is sent to landfill is made up of food waste.
The Newtown initiative will include roadshows at the town's library and target houses in Trehafren, Treown and other parts of the town with a leaflet and information campaign throughout October and November.
For further information, please visit https://www.shropshirestar.com/news/local-hubs/mid-wales/newtown/2019/10/06/households-urged-to-recycle-food-waste/
Beat horror of Halloween food waste with this pumpkin soup recipe
Published: 4 Oct 2019
Pumpkins will soon be filling the supermarket shelves - but it's more than just a Jack O'Lantern, it can make a tasty Halloween dinner, too.
For those mindful of food waste, the scariest thing about Halloween is seeing thousands of tasty pumpkins being used for decoration - and discarded.
Pumpkins are one of those vegetables that people are reluctant to taste, let alone cook.
With their tough, thick skin, peeling, chopping and de-seeding one can be a messy laborious task - but it's worth saving the meat to make a meal that will be a real treat on an autumn evening.
Stats released by Oddbox, who sell subscription boxes 'wonky' produce that doesn't meet supermarkets' superficial standards, reveal Brits will bin 8 MILLION pumpkins after Halloween, with over half only being used for carving spooky faces.
If you're concerned about how much food waste will come from your ghostly-celebrations, try baking a festive pumpkin pie, roast the seeds for a great healthy snack, make pumpkin puree for your own pumpkin spiced latte, use the stringy flesh for composting, and the pumpkin itself can double up as a biodegradable planter.
The easiest way to use up pumpkin is to make a soup, try our recipe below.
1 pumpkin (deseeded and chopped)
2 tbsp. coconut oil (melted)
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
3 cups vegetable stock
1½ tbsp. curry powder
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
Coriander (chopped to garnish - optional)
Sea salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 220 degrees (200 fan).
Chop the pumpkin into chunks and place onto a lined baking tray.
Drizzle the coconut oil over the pumpkin and season with sea salt, pepper and sprinkle with cinnamon.
Using your fingers, massage the pumpkin in with the coconut oil and spices.
Roast for around 35 minutes or until the orange flesh is easily pierced with a fork.
Place pumpkin into a blender, add vegetable stock, lemon juice and curry powder and blend until smooth.
Add another cup of water to adjust consistency.
Place in a medium pot and heat for a further 4-5 mins.
Serve and garnish with coriander.
For further information, please visit https://www.heart.co.uk/lifestyle/food-drink/beat-horror-of-halloween-food-waste-with-this-pump/
Abingdon Community Fridge opens to tackle food waste
Published: 3 Oct 2019
Abingdon mayor Charlie Birks joined residents last week to officially launch Abingdon Community Fridge.
It is stocked with food that would otherwise have been thrown away and is donated by residents and supermarkets including the Co-op, Tesco and Waitrose.
Anyone is welcome to take food from the fridge, which houses a selection of fresh fruits, vegetables and baked goods.
The fridge is managed entirely by volunteers from The Replenish Project, a countywide food waste prevention scheme funded by Oxfordshire County Council.
Volunteers say the fridge, which was donated by the Oxford Garden Project, has so far prevented more than a tonne of food from being binned and has had over 300 visitors since it was installed in August.
Kerry Lock, one of the volunteers, said: "It's been fantastic to see the impact the fridge has had on the local community.
"So many people have told us how much it has helped them, and it's great to see food going to those who need it rather than filling bins."
Abingdon mayor Charlie Birks
Rachel Burns, Waste Strategy Manager at the county council, added:"We are so pleased that local businesses are supporting the project and ensuring that good food is eaten rather than thrown away.
"The fridge is also a brilliant place for residents to share food with neighbours and stop it from being discarded."
She continued: "If you are emptying your fridge before a holiday or have excess produce growing in the garden, then consider taking it to your local fridge so that it can be enjoyed by others."
According to the food waste charity Fareshare, 1.9 million tonnes of food is wasted by the food industry in the UK each year.
It adds that 250,000 tonnes of that food is still edible - enough for 650 million meals.
This is despite an estimated 8.4 million people in the UK struggling to afford to eat.
Community fridge have also been opened in Blackbird Leys and Wallingford in recent months.
Oxford Food Bank, which matches up excess fruit, vegetables, bakery and dairy products with charities that could make use of them, also celebrated its 10th anniversary on Sunday at its Botley base.
The Abingdon fridge is located at the Abbey Centre off Audlett Drive, and is open to the public between 9.30am and 3.30pm from Monday to Friday.
To keep up to date with the project search Abingdon Community Fridge on Facebook.
For further information, please visit https://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/news/17941790.abingdon-community-fridge-opens-tackle-food-waste/
Where does recycling and rubbish from the UK go?
Published: 30 Sep 2019
Waste company Biffa has been fined £350,000 for sending household waste, including used nappies and sanitary towels, to China. The waste was illegally labelled as paper.
So how much of the UK's waste is recycled, and how much of it do we send abroad?
How much waste does the UK produce?
In 2016, the UK generated 222.9 million tonnes of waste, up 4% from 2014.
England was responsible for 85% of the total.
Construction and demolition generates the most - about 136 million tonnes a year. Mineral waste accounts for 36% of the total and includes anything that's left over from mining or quarrying, and can't be used again.
The latest figures available show that UK households produced just under 27 million tonnes of waste in 2017.
That's equivalent to 409 kg per person - roughly the weight of four adult giant pandas.
It's mostly made up of food scraps, newspapers, cardboard, glass bottles and plastics.
Much of it could be avoided. A study by the University of Sussex found that the average family in the UK throws away 20% of all the food they buy, costing up to £800 a year.
How much gets recycled?
The recycling rate for UK households' waste was 45.7% in 2017, a small increase on the previous year.
Wales had the highest recycling rate in 2017 at 57.6%. It's the only UK country to exceed the EU's target to recycle at least 50% of waste from households by 2020.
England and Scotland followed with 45.2% and 43.5% respectively.
Comparable figures aren't available for Northern Ireland after 2014.
Paper and cardboard were the most recycled materials in 2017 at 79%, followed by metal at 71.3% and glass at 67.6%. For these materials, much of the recycling is carried out in the UK.
After recycling, the most common destination for the UK's rubbish is landfill, with 24% of waste sent there in 2016.
In England, the amount of waste sent for incineration has been increasing, up from 10.1 to 10.8 million tonnes in 2017-18.
How much of the UK's rubbish is sent abroad?
Roughly two-thirds of plastic waste in the UK is sent overseas to be recycled - in part, to reduce costs.
BBC analysis suggests the UK exported 611,000 tonnes of plastic packaging to other countries in the year to October 2018.
Until January 2018, China imported most of the world's plastic waste.
But due to concerns about contamination and pollution, it announced it would no longer buy recycled plastic scrap that was not 99.5% pure.
The amount of the UK's plastic taken by China dropped by 94% between 2016-17 and 2017-18.
Malaysia, Turkey, Poland and Indonesia picked up some of the slack.
Malaysia imported 105,000 tonnes in total and was way out in front. That total was 42,000 (68%) more in 2017-18 compared with the previous year.
However, in recent months, Malaysia has also pushed back. The country's environment minister Yeo Bee Yin said that it will not be "a dumping ground to the world".
Malaysia has also said it would send back 3,000 tonnes of non-recyclable plastic waste to countries including the US, UK, Canada and Australia. It said the contaminated waste was smuggled in on its way to illegal processing facilities in the country.
Sustainability charity Wrap has previously suggested that the increase in UK incineration rates is down to more plastic being burnt, rather than being sent abroad after China's ban.
A huge amount of metal and paper is also sent overseas to be recycled. In 2018, 9.5 million tonnes of metal and 4.5 million tonnes of paper were exported, according to HM Revenue & Customs.
How do other countries recycle?
Some countries with the highest recycling rates globally include Germany, Austria and South Korea, according to a 2017 study by waste consultancy Eunomia.
Policy varies widely around the world.
Germany, for example, has had a deposit return scheme in place for plastic bottles since 2003. Retailers like supermarkets have to bear the costs, and are allowed to keep any unclaimed deposits that customers don't claim for returning the bottles.
In Japan, everything from polystyrene and shampoo bottles, to packaging for pills, can be separated and recycled in its system.
There are now also 26 certified "eco-towns", according to the Japanese environment ministry. One of them, Kamikatsu, is thought to recycle 80% of its household waste.
Locals wash and sort it into more than 45 separate categories, before taking it to the recycling centre.
How can I reduce my waste at home?
Recycling and how to cut down on single-use plastic has become a hot topic of conversation in recent years.
A few tips include:
Use an online recycling locator tool to find out what you can and cannot recycle in your area
Carry small reusable shopping bags or plastic containers
Keep your recycling bin next to the main bin so you can take both out at the same time
Food is also a significant contributor to household waste. Wrap estimates that household food waste makes up 70% of the UK total.
Planning meals, freezing food and being careful not to over-buy in the shops can all help tackle food waste.
For further information, please visit https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-49827945
UK food industry accelerates journey to halving food waste by 2030
Published: 30 Sep 2019
More than half of UK food industry turnover have now committed to the Target, Measure and Act on food waste a year on from the launch of WRAP and IFG's Food Waste Reduction Roadmap.
In total 156 food businesses have committed to reducing food waste, more than double the number that committed to the Roadmap at launch.
These businesses are joined by a further 29 other organisations including major trade bodies, and redistribution organisations.
121 of these food businesses have provided evidence to WRAP that they are already implementing the Target, Measure, Act strategy in an effort to reduce food waste. These include all of the UK's largest grocery retailers, and over 100 other large food businesses.
This represents tremendous progress towards the ambitious aim to have fifty per cent of the UK's largest 250 food businesses measuring, reporting and acting on food waste by September 2019.
Together these 121 businesses have a combined turnover of over almost £220 billion, representing 50% of the overall turnover for UK food manufacture, retail and hospitality and food service.
They also generate around 1.1 million tonnes of food waste in their own operations, a third of the total UK post-farm gate supply chain food waste.
"Businesses that are implementing Target, Measure, Act are already reaping the benefits, and those publicly reporting comparable data show an average 7% reduction, and a combined saving of around 53,000 tonnes of food valued at over £85 million," said WRAP CEO Marcus Gover.
"Working together with Courtauld 2025, the Food Waste Reduction Roadmap is putting the UK on a path to achieving Sustainable Development Goal Target 12.3.
"But there is much more to do, and our ambition is to have all major food businesses implementing Target, Measure Act by the end of 2026."
All large grocery retailers have committed to the Roadmap and are implementing Target, Measure, Act. The 15 businesses have a collective turnover of more than £160 billion, representing almost 80% of the grocery retail and wholesale sector.
Retailers are increasingly publishing their own food surplus and waste data, although more needs to be done to ensure it is reported in a consistent manner, and fully compliant with the Roadmap guidelines.
The number of food producers and manufacturers committing to the Roadmap has doubled since launch, to 117. Collectively they represent around 45% of the entire sector by turnover and cover all of the major categories of food, and the different nations of the UK.
Around 80% of these producers and manufacturers provided evidence that they are implementing Target, Measure, Act, representing a third of the entire sector.
Almost 40 have publicly reported food surplus and food waste, the majority as part of the initiative announced by Champions 12.3 chair and Tesco CEO Dave Lewis.
The number of hospitality and food service sector businesses committing to the Roadmap has also doubled since launch to 24, representing around 20% of the entire sector by turnover.
They include some of the UK's largest restaurant chains, food outlets, hotel groups, contract caterers and food service providers. More than half of these have provided evidence that they are implementing Target, Measure, Act.
For further information, please visit https://www.fdiforum.net/mag/supply-chain/uk-food-industry-accelerates-journey-to-halving-food-waste-by-2030/
Edinburgh's recycled food waste 'boils 1.75 million kettles'
Published: 27 Sep 2019
Edinburgh residents are now recycling 700 tonnes of food waste - enough to generate electricity to boil 1.75 million kettles.
More than 163,000 food waste caddies are collected in Edinburgh each week.
However, the council is urging more people in the capital to recycle their food waste.
The first pilot food waste collections in Edinburgh began in spring 2011. One food caddy generates enough electricity to power a TV for five hours.
Food waste from Edinburgh residents goes to the food waste treatment facility at Millerhill and into an anaerobic digester.
It breaks it down and produces gas, which is used to power Millerhill and goes into the national grid.
The City of Edinburgh Council does not get paid for the waste.
Lesley Macinnes, City of Edinburgh Council's environment convener, said: "Friday's global climate strike and the great turnout at Edinburgh's march highlighted the huge appetite to wage war on waste and protect our planet's vital resources.
"Reducing consumption is clearly the very first step we need to master, but when we do have leftover food waste it's important to recycle it.
"Recycling your food waste is really so simple to do but it makes an enormous difference.
"Every tonne of food waste can generate enough electricity to boil 2,500 kettles - and we send 700 tonnes for recycling in Edinburgh each month, so that's a lot of cups of tea."
For further information, please visit https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-edinburgh-east-fife-49801116
String fruit and veg bags from the 80s make a comeback at Morrisons
Published: 26 Sep 2019
Selling reuseable string bags is another way the supermarket chain is encouraging shoppers to reduce their plastic.
Morrisons is turning back the clock this month as they've revived popular items from the 1980s.
The started off with reintroducing Marathon bars - a retro edition of Snickers - and now they're making a comeback of the classic string fruit and vegetable bags.
They've brought back the reuseable bags after listening to customers who want plastic free ways to carry their groceries.
The move will mean that customers can buy loose fruit and veg or wrap it in a paper bag and carry it home in a string bag - just like shoppers from the 1970s and 80s.
The string carriers, made from 100 per cent unbleached and untreated recycled cotton, will cost £1 and will be located in the Greengrocery area of the store.
They are initially being trialled in four locations - Catcliffe, Guiseley, Halfway and Skipton - before being sold in Morrisons supermarkets across the country later this year.
The bags are able to hold approximately eight kilogrammes of fresh produce - the equivalent of 26 large baking potatoes.
And with 15mm holes, they will also hold most smaller types of fruits and vegetables - including garlic, kiwis and new potatoes.
Natasha Cook, packaging manager at Morrisons said: "As we increase the number of loose fruit and veg we stock, we've listened to customers - who said they wanted plastic free bags to carry it home in. In our trials, customers said they felt a sense of nostalgia using the string bag - as it reminded them of shopping trips of the past."
Earlier this year, Morrisons became the first supermarket to roll-out plastic free fruit and veg areas in its stores, allowing customers to choose from up to 127 varieties of loose produce.
For further information, please visit https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/whats-on/shopping/string-fruit-veg-bags-80s-16985736
UK food industry exceeds roadmap ambitions to reduce food waste
Published: 26 Sep 2019
The roadmap that was developed by WRAP and fellow charity IGD, set a goal to ensure that at least 50% of the UK's 250 largest food businesses are measuring and reporting their food waste data by September 2019. Having reached 156 businesses, the organisations have exceeded their ambitions, with the number representing more than half of UK food industry turnover.
WRAP has implemented the 'Target, Measure, Act' strategy which provides businesses with steps they can take to reduce food waste in their own supply chain, and how they can engage with consumers to help reduce their food waste.
121 of these food businesses have provided evidence of implementing this strategy, including all 15 of the UK's largest grocery retailers such as Sainsbury's and Tesco, and over 100 other large food businesses including Nestlé and Kraft Heinz UK.
The amount of food producers and manufacturers committed to the roadmap has doubled since launch to 117, as well as the number of hospitality and food service sector businesses which has risen to 24.
WRAP and IGD have broadened its membership with a further 29 other organisations, including major trade bodies and redistribution organisations.
Since the launch the founders have produced more than 40 case studies representing the progress made and have delivered training workshops to the different sectors, as well as other campaigns.
Marcus Gover, CEO of WRAP said: "I am delighted at the huge progress in this first year of the UK Food Waste Reduction Roadmap.
"Businesses that are implementing Target, Measure, Act are already reaping the benefits, and those publicly reporting comparable data show an average 7% reduction, and a combined saving of around 53,000 tonnes of food valued at over £85m.
Susan Barratt, CEO of IGD said: "IGD and WRAP continue to work very closely with these companies, giving them the tools to understand how they can measure and reduce food waste. Our industry has made great strides on this important issue in the last 12 months, but we are not complacent.
"Reducing food waste is a long-term journey and we recognise there is more we can, and will, be doing in the future."
According to WRAP, the UK is the first country in the world to set a nation-wide plan of this size, scale and ambition. The Food Waste Reduction Roadmap aims to have all 250 companies join by 2026 and to achieve the UN's Sustainable Development Goal Target 12.3 of halving food waste by 2030.
For further information, please visit https://www.foodbev.com/news/uk-food-industry-exceeds-roadmap-ambitions-to-reduce-food-waste/
Sainsbury's to scrap plastic bags
Published: 25 Sep 2019
Sainsbury's to scrap plastic bags in stores for fruit and veg - and now you have to pay 30p or bring your own.
Sainsbury's is scrapping plastic bags in store for fresh food purchases from next week, meaning customers will need to bring their own or pay 30p for a reusable carrier.
The supermarket will no longer provide plastic bags for loose fruit and vegetables from September 30.
Shoppers will either need to bring in their own containers or buy a reusable drawstring bag for 30p.
The supermarket is also scrapping plastic bags from the same date for bakery items, but here it will provide free paper bags for shoppers.
Sainsbury's says it's not providing free paper bags for loose fruit and veg because it would increase the grocer's Co2 footprint.
The change will apply in all convenience stores and about 500 supermarkets with more to follow.
Sainsbury's has around 600 supermarkets in the UK and has pledged to reduce 50 per cent of its plastic use by 2025.
In addition, the supermarket will no longer use plastic bags when delivering groceries to customers' homes from October 1.
Items will instead be delivered in crates.
Sainsbury's confirmed the price of deliveries will not change once the plastic bag ban begins.
The supermarket has also confirmed a new trial to replace plastic sleeves on flowers with recyclable paper in 167 stores.
Sainsbury's says the new initiative will remove 10tonnes of plastic from more than 1million bouquets.
The trial started this week and will run for three months.
A Sainsbury's spokesperson said: "We're serious about reducing plastic, as evidenced by the ambitious commitments we have made as a business this year.
"The removal of plastic bags from online grocery deliveries is just another example of how we are working to achieve our wider goals."
In terms of other UK supermarkets, Tesco and Iceland both trialled out packaging-free fresh produce earlier this year.
Tesco and Asda have also ditched plastic bags from their online delivery service, at no extra cost to customers.
While Morrisons has launched dozens of plastic-free fruit and veg areas in May.
For further information, please visit https://www.thesun.co.uk/money/10001988/sainsburys-delivery-plastic-bag-fruit-veg/
Half of UK households throw recyclable items in general waste, says WRAP
Published: 23 Sep 2019
As part of Recycle Week (23-29 September), the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) has released the results of its 2019 Recycling Tracker, an annual survey of UK households that collects information on recycling attitudes, knowledge and behaviours.
Key findings in the results highlight that over the past year 60 per cent of UK households report extra recycling of one or more items. However, over half of UK residents (51 per cent) dispose of recyclable items in the general waste and just over four in five (82 per cent) try to recycle one or more items at the kerbside that are not actually accepted locally, suggesting there is still consumer confusion over what can be recycled at home.
This year's survey, organised by WRAP under the Recycle Now brand, gathered evidence from 5,452 online interviews, the largest sample size since the reports began in 2004.
The most recent tracker also introduced a new question to assess the prevalence and strength of social norms around recycling, indicating that social norms are strongly associated with positive recycling behaviour and those who perceive a positive social norm dispose of more items correctly.
According to the tracker recyclable items that are most frequently placed in general waste instead of kerbside recycling - known as 'missed capture' - are aluminium foil, aerosol cans and plastic detergent and cleaning product bottles. On average, households could recycle 1.6 more items at the kerbside.
Call for consistency
In February 2019, the government launched a series of consultations on the policies put forward in its Resources and Waste Strategy, including on its proposals for consistency in household recycling collections.
Following the results of the consultation on consistency, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) announced it will be seeking to amend legislation to require all councils in England to collect 'at least' the following materials from 2023:
Glass bottles and containers - including drinks bottles, condiment bottles, jars;
Paper and card - including newspaper, cardboard packaging, writing paper;
Plastic bottles - including clear drinks containers, HDPE (milk containers), detergent, shampoo and cleaning products;
Plastic pots tubs and trays; and
Steel and aluminium tins and cans.
As part of the consistency consultation, Defra also proposed mandatory separate food waste collections for all households and free garden waste collections.
This year's Recycle Now survey revealed that there has been an increase in food waste recycling, with 25 per cent of UK households saying they have recycled more food waste in the past year. The results comprised of nine per cent who are new to recycling food waste and 15 per cent who are recycling more/more consistently.
By contrast, three per cent of UK households are recycling less and four per cent say they have stopped using the service altogether. Nearly two in five (38 per cent) said they do not have a food waste recycling collection.
Similarly to confusion over which packaging items can go in kerbside recycling, a number of recyclable food waste items end up in general waste. 64 per cent of respondents cited putting one or more recyclable food waste items in the general waste - most commonly tea bags and coffee grounds, eggshells, bones, unopened food still in packaging, and leftover meal scrapings.
The design of kerbside collection services also has an impact on food waste recycling, with households are more likely to say they are recycling more food waste in areas with a restricted residual waste collection. The survey results also found that separate food waste collections perform better, on average, than mixed collections of food and garden waste, both in terms of stronger social norms and better overall sentiment towards the service.
As well as misplaced recyclables, contamination is an issue within kerbside recycling - when non-targeted or non-recyclable items are put in collections with recyclables, the recycling process is made more difficult and often leads to the whole batch being thrown in landfill.
This year's tracker results show that 45 per cent of UK households put one or more items in the kerbside collection that WRAP considers to be 'serious contaminants,' including plastic bags and wrapping, toothpaste tubes, and drinking glasses and Pyrex. The inclusion of cookware such as pots, pans and cutlery, plastic toys, small electrical items and textiles in kerbside recycling has also significantly increased, adding to the contamination issue.
Information on where these kinds of items can be successfully recycled can be found on the Recycle Now website, along with a guide on recycling symbols.
When the results for missed capture and contamination are combined, the survey shows that UK households dispose of 3.5 items 'incorrectly' on average, relative to what their local collection accepts, again highlighting the importance of local authority consistency across the country.
Commenting on the release of the survey, Peter Maddox, WRAP Director, said: "We should never shy away from constantly banging the drum for household recycling. It is hugely important to the health of the planet because small actions by a large number of people do make a difference. What you do influences your friends, family and neighbourhoods. We all take cues from others so the more of us that take recycling into our own hands - the more will join us."
For further information, please visit https://resource.co/article/half-uk-households-throw-recyclable-items-general-waste-says-wrap
Restaurants urged to serve us less food
Published: 9 Sep 2019
Without quite realising it, they're choosing to do exactly what food waste campaigners want us all to do: only get served up what we'll definitely eat.
Over a million tonnes of food prepared in the hospitality industry gets thrown away. And charity Wrap says 75% of it could have been eaten.
This older pair's concerns are more about appetite than the environment: "We don't eat as much as we used to and we don't want to waste anything," they smile, delighted that the pub has kindly given them extra gravy to help spread their shared meal.
But back in the kitchen, there's a deliberate effort to reduce what's served to reduce waste and save cash. Portion sizes are down. Garnishes and sauces are optional extras. Lined up by the sink are plates scraped clean by happy eaters.
The Harrington Arms is one of over 240 Robinsons Brewery pubs to take on new guidelines from Wrap; making some small changes after monitoring and measuring what gets rejected.
The charity has the backing of some big-name chefs and chains, as well as the Government. But it's tricky when companies have an obligation to serve up crowd-pleasing grub.
On average about a fifth of food binned across industry is spoiled, damaged or past its best. Almost half gets the chop as it's prepped. And a third is our fault - plate waste sent back when someone cannot manage it. Salad, spuds and rice are the most over-served offenders.
Robinsons Brewery estimates £8,000 worth of food is wasted in each pub and maintains customers have been supportive of the cuts. "A lot of licensees seem to think that the bigger the portion - the happier the customer. But it's not always the case," says Nick Burns, who consults on the catering across the brewery's network.
"Adding that salad garnish, which may cost 30 or 40p, to the plate makes it look better but if the customer is not eating it, it's waste,"
Eleanor Morris has worked on Wrap's Guardians of Grub campaign that challenges businesses of all kinds to rethink how they procure, prep and present food. "Business food waste is hidden; it goes into a bin and gets taken away, so it's not really seen as a cost," she says.
"But we're all surrounded by food waste. It's everybody's issue whether we're at home and whether we're eating out."
It's not a new idea. Zero Waste Scotland's trial to tackle 53,000 tonnes of scraps began five years ago. The trial focused on giving out doggy bags for customers to take home their leftovers - something Angela Loftus and the team at Black Sheep Bistro in Glasgow are still keenly offering as part of their commitment to reduce stigma and boost sustainability.
"If a plate comes back to the kitchen and staff are saying it's being boxed up, I feel happy about that, because I know the person enjoyed it," she says.
"If customers see this is the norm in here then they feel more comfortable about it and they can just carry home our nice wee bag with them. It makes it look like it's the right thing to do."
All of the ideas to reduce waste rely upon dialogue between business and customer - about what will be dished out in exchange for their cash. A meal out is still a treat for most people. Diners will only really swallow changes if they feel like they're still being offered good value for money.
For further information, please visit https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-49607938
Plan for food waste to be separated
Published: 7 Jan 2019
Ministers are backing the idea, but will offer it for consultation before any changes happen.
The scheme would reduce greenhouse gases from landfill, but could lead to less frequent collections of general household waste.
Some councils will oppose the policy unless they are given extra funds to carry out the scheme.
At the moment, only around 35% of households in England are obliged to put food waste in its own caddy.
That compares with 56% in Scotland and 100% in Wales. The figures exclude food waste mixed with garden waste.
While the new rule would force councils to offer separate food caddies, people would not be obliged to use them.
Why do we need food caddies?
Unwanted food that goes into a general bin rots in landfill and creates methane - a powerful greenhouse gas.
When waste food is collected separately, it can be put into an anaerobic digester - a tank in which the food breaks down into sludge, carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane, which can be used for generating energy or running a vehicle.
The residual sludge is used as a soil fertiliser.
The change will help the government reach its targets on cutting greenhouse gas emissions.
Some local councils say there's a long-term bonus from having food waste separated and collecting it every week.
Because when rotting food is safely in the caddy, general waste collections can be reduced to every two or more weeks without providing a feast for flies.
What are the drawbacks?
The policy has been controversial for people wanting bins emptied every week. Some councils say the scheme is too expensive.
It creates a problem with disposing of nappies and the food waste caddies create extra clutter for front gardens or streets.
But the plan does fit with the government strategy of changing our relationship with the stuff we throw away.
Recyclenow, the government-backed campaign, says: "Throwing away food is a huge waste of the energy, water and packaging used in its production, transportation and storage.
"If we all stopped wasting the food which could have been eaten, it would have the same CO2 impact as taking one in four cars off UK roads."
Courtesy of BBC News
For further information, please visit https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-46571391
Free food waste collection for every household in England
Published: 7 Jan 2019
Weekly collections of food waste will be made from every household in England as part of a major government strategy to deal with the rubbish crisis.
At the moment only about a third of local authorities collect food waste separately- while UK households throw away about 7 millions of food a year- most of which is edible.
In a wide-ranging overhaul of the waste strategy, businesses will be forced to pay the full cost of recycling or disposing of their packaging waste- compared to just 10 per cent of the cost at the moment and they will also be required to take more responsibility for items that are difficult or expensive to recycle such are cars, electrical goods and batteries.
Futhermore, recycling rules- which vary considerably from one local authority to another- will be made consistent- while a bottle deposit scheme is planned to begin in 2023 to
increase recycling rates.
Further and Faster
"We will go further and faster, to reduce, reuse and recycle. Together we can move away from being a 'throw-away' society, to one that looks at waste as a valuable resource," said Environment Secretary Michael Gove.
The announcements were broadly welcomed by campaign groups although they said they didn't go far enough in some cases.
"The plans to ensure that companies who create and sell plastic packaging will at last pay for dealing with the consequences are really encouraging," said Greenpeace UK senior oceans campaigner Louise Edge.
"This should be a big help in getting difficult to recycle and expensive plastic packaging off our supermarket shelves, driving better product design and much needed investment in refillable and reusable packaging," she added.
However, these proposals only enter law in 2023 and there's no reason why it couldn't happen much sooner, she said. Friends of the Earth waste campaigner Julian Kirby added: "At long last the government appears to be getting serious about tackling England's vast mountains of waste." "But there is still too much reliance on voluntary measures and precious little commitment to targets to reduce waste and boost recycling," he said.
Producers will foot the bill for the packaging and some products they create when it is disposed of - either through a direct payment to waste system or in the form of higher prices paid to others in the supply chain. The government hopes that higher product disposal prices will encourage companies to make them more durable. It is also exploring mandatory guarntees and extended warranties on products to design products that last longer and drive up repair and reuse. The government's Resources and Waste Strategy will also seek to clamp down on waste crime, for example by increasing fines and prison sentences for fly tipping. Wales and Northern Ireland already collect food waste from every household while in Scotland most, although not all, have it collected.
Courtesy of The Essential Daily Briefing
For further information, please visit https://inews.co.uk/news/environment/free-food-waste-collection-for-every-household-in-england/
Food Waste Chief to target 'scandal' of 250m binned UK meals
Published: 7 Jan 2019
The government has appointed a food waste champion to tackle the problem of 250m meals being thrown away in the UK each year.
Ben Elliot, a philanthropist and co-founder of the lifestyle group Quintessentially, will aim to help the government eliminate food waste going to landfill by 2030.
He was appointed to the unpaid, voluntary role by Michael Gove, the environment secretary, who described food waste as "an economic, environmental and moral scandal".
Elliot's first task will be to oversee the Food Waste Fund, a £15m pilot schemewhich will redistribute surplus food, Gove said.
Working with businesses and other stakeholders from across retail, manufacturing, hospitality and food services, he will also support government consultations on the introduction of mandatory food waste reduction targets and redistribution obligations.
Elliot said: "While families all over the country struggle to put food on the table and children still go to school each day with empty stomachs, there continues to be an unforgivable amount of food waste, which is both morally deplorable and largely avoidable.
"As a nation, we need to stop this excessive waste and ensure that surplus food finds its way to people in our society who need it most, and not let it get thrown away and go to landfill."
In his role as chair of the Quintessentially Foundation, Elliot, who is the Duchess of Cornwall's nephew, has worked with the Felix Project, a charity targeting food waste and food poverty in London which claims to have diverted up to £1bn of surplus food to those in need.
Currently around 43,000 tonnes of surplus food is redistributed from retailers and food manufacturers every year, the government says. It is estimated a further 100,000 tonnes of food - equating to 250m meals a year - is edible and readily available but goes uneaten. Instead, it is sent away for generating energy from waste, or for animal feed.
Courtesy of The Guardian
For further information, please visit https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/dec/31/food-waste-chief-to-target-scandal-of-250m-binned-uk-meals