9 May 2019 by Elizabeth Slow

Organic waste news round-up (09/05/2019)

With news on: Government awards £4.2 million to redistribution schemes; First Mile launches compostables service; and EU Commission adopts common food waste methodology.


Government awards £4.2 million to redistribution schemes

The government has awarded more than £4 million to four food redistribution organisations across England.

The successful bids – from Fareshare, Company Shop Group, The Felix Project and Food Works Sheffield – will receive funding through the first tranche of a £15 million scheme launched in January by Environment Secretary Michael Gove.

Fareshare is one of four charities awarded funding by the government for food redistribution work

According to Defra, the projects will enable existing food redistribution companies to take more surplus food from manufacturers and retailers and stop it going to waste.

Solutions put forward by the projects as part of the selection exercise included developing new supply routes from growers and local distributors, funding new lines and additional staff and increasing capacity for repacking and labelling.

A further round of funding will focus on improving infrastructure for companies to redistribute even more of the estimated 100,000 tonnes of food is edible and readily available but goes uneaten, Defra says.

Food Surplus and Waste Champion Ben Elliot said: “These organisations are on the frontline, working diligently towards a waste-less future by ensuring that perfectly good food does not end up in the bin. It’s only right that this vital work is recognised accordingly.”


First Mile launches compostable packaging service

First Mile has announced the launch of a dedicated compostable recycling packaging service for businesses, which the London-based firm says is a ‘first’ for the UK.

The service will see packaging reprocessed into nutrient-rich fertiliser, the company says.

First Mile is launching a dedicated compostable recycling packaging service for businesses

First Mile already provides a recycling service to over 25,000 businesses. Its compostable packaging collections will be available to both new and existing customers via dedicated kerbside collection sacks.

Bruce Bratley, chief executive at First Mile, said: “There’s been a significant increase in the amount of compostable packaging being used by sustainability-savvy businesses, but these items need to be processed properly to provide any environmental benefits.

“We’re pleased to be able to offer this new service, where customers will be able to simply place their compostable packaging in one of our dedicated First Mile bags for collection, safe in the knowledge that their actions will make a difference.”

According to First Mile, the material will be sent to a ‘modern’ AD facility which can process material at a higher temperature and “with more pressure, enabling the speedy breakdown of compostable packaging”.


EU Commission adopts common food waste methodology

The European Commission has adopted a common food waste measurement methodology to support member states in monitoring food waste trends.

Based on a common definition of food waste, the methodology will ensure coherent monitoring of food waste levels across the EU, the Commission says.

Frans Timmermans, first vice-president, of the European Commission, said the commission has defined food waste prevention as a “key priority” in building a circular economy. “To deliver change, we have to be able to properly measure food waste. I am pleased to see the EU developing the first ever comprehensive food waste measurement methodology and blazing the trail globally.”

While the Delegated Act defines what needs to be measured as food waste at each stage of the food supply chain and how this should be carried out, it provides flexibility as to how data collection should be carried out at national level.

The Delegated Act is subject to scrutiny by co-legislators and will be sent to the Parliament and the Council by the end of July.

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