‘Climate change’ theme for Food Waste Action Week

The second annual Food Waste Action Week begins today (7 March), organised by WRAP’ Love Food Hate Waste team.

A glum looking Gregg Wallace with food that can get wasted (picture: PA Wire)

International

Similar initiatives are simultaneously running in Canada, the USA, South Africa and Mauritius.

According to Love Food Hate Waste’s survey, only one in three people see the link between food waste and climate change. The week long campaign aims to get the message out that food waste generates CO2 which is harmful to the climate/

Frozen food

TV presenter and celebrity Gregg Wallace is fronting the WRAP initiative to help raise awareness about food waste and its environmental impact, and to share best practices.

Particular attention is on food that gets “lost in the freezer and is never used”.

Gregg Wallace said: “Often it’s simple changes in how we store food that make the biggest difference, we are all responsible for the vast majority of food waste that happens in the UK, so we really need to be part of the solution for the sake of the planet. And with food prices going up and other pressures on disposable income, the savings you’ll make to the family budget by wasting less food are significant.”

UK households waste the equivalent of eight meals a week on average, according to WRAP (the Waste and Resources Action Programme charity). According to a survey for it, over a third of people in the UK admit to their freezer sometimes being “a total disaster”. 19% of people threw away something frozen in the past couple of weeks because “it has laid dormant for too long”.

Getting to grips with freezing and defrosting are big factors in preventing food from going to waste

– Sarah Clayton, WRAP

Sarah Clayton from Love Food Hate Waste said: “Getting to grips with freezing and defrosting are big factors in preventing food from going to waste at home.”

Love Food Hate Waste wants to show that used properly, the freezer is “the king of the kitchen”. In fact, freezing and defrosting just three key meat items that are commonly not used in time (fresh chicken, bacon, and sausages) could reduce waste of those items by as much as 15,000 tonnes a year.

Global campaign

To illustrate the scale of the issue, Love Food Hate Waste has created a powerful installation using food waste. The campaign, which will run in the UK and globally across social media channels, aims to convey that food wasted in our homes is directly feeding climate change.

WRAP’s art installation depicting food waste (picture: PA Wire)

The 6.6 million tonnes of household food waste thrown away in the UK annually accounts for nearly 25 million tonnes of CO2 emissions. The majority is food that could have been eaten. It requires an area almost the size of Wales to produce all the food and drink currently wasted in the UK.

#FoodWasteActionWeek

This year’s campaign is supported by a number of influencers via their social media channels. Love Food Hate Waste is also encouraging people to share their own freezer items on social media, using the hashtag #FoodWasteActionWeek.

Food Waste Action Week is also working with partners globally to make this an international week of action. Partners will be supporting the campaign from 12 countries including Canada, USA, Australia, South Africa, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Mauritius, Indonesia, Jordan, The Netherlands and New Zealand. Lending their support are some of the UK’s retailers, who have provided financial donations to help amplify the week: including Aldi, Danone, Dunbia, KFC, IHG Hotels and Resorts, Ocado, OLIO and Sodexo.

Ministerial support

Resources and Waste Minister Jo Churchill endorsed the initiative as well.

“Throwing good food away is a terrible waste of resources, water and energy. Food Waste Action Week is hugely important in bringing together the entire food supply chain, from farm to fork, to take action on this critical issue,” the minister said.

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