WRAP hails success of Food Waste Action Week

WRAP has said its Food Waste Action Week, which took place last week (7-13 March), was a “great success”, highlighting that it has helped “galvanise the public” to reduce food waste.

WRAP says more than half of people who read about the initiative take action to reduce food waste

Food Waste Action Week was launched in 2021 and aims to raise awareness about the link between food waste and climate change.

Celebrity chef Greg Wallace was the ambassador this year, which WRAP said “greatly helped”, with more than 200 pieces of media coverage.

WRAP says that more than half of people reached through the scheme will go on to change their behaviours, which will help lower food waste levels.

According to the most recent report by WRAP, the UK produced around 9.5 million tonnes of food waste in 2018.

Funding

Food Waste Action Week was launched last year as part of a £19.6 million fund given to WRAP from Defra to “help address several priority environmental outcomes”.

This includes food waste prevention, litter strategies, recycling non-household municipal waste, plastics packaging reprocessing and textiles reprocessing.

While £4.2 million was refunded due to delays, Food Waste Action Week went ahead as planned and was again repeated this year.

WRAP has also said that the UK is currently on track to meet the Courtauld Commitment — which pledged to a 50% per capita reduction in food waste by 2030 vs the UK 2007 baseline — and that current initiatives “are working”.

The campaign is galvanising the nation into changing habits

  • Jackie Bailey, WRAP

‘Success’

Jackie Bailey, campaign manager at Love Food Hate Waste considered this year’s campaign “a great success”.

She said: “We’ve received over 200 pieces of media coverage and having Gregg Wallace as our celebrity ambassador has been fantastic. The campaign is galvanising the nation into changing habits for the better and reducing their household food waste.”

The below video was launched by WRAP in anticipation of the week.

Initiatives

This year, the week focused on promoting cooking with most wasted food items, as well as best practices with storage, freezing and defrosting.

The week simultaneously ran in Canada, the USA, South Africa and Mauritius, aiming to help tackle food waste globally.

At an event focused on minimising food waste in the kitchen, resources and waste minister Jo Churchill cooked with Vince Kelly, culinary lecturer at Westminster Kingsway College, and the students to create a menu using up “every morsel of food”.

Pandemic

WRAP also assessed how the easing of Covid-19 restrictions affected food-related habits.

A report published during the week stated that almost half of UK citizens feel under time pressure in their daily life, which has risen sharply since the pandemic.

During the pandemic, there was a sharp decrease in reported levels of food waste in the first lockdown, thanks in part to the food management behaviours people adopted, the report continued.

However, several behaviours had declined since June 2020 as the return to busy lives began to get in the way of good habits.

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