According to the Food Standards Agency (FSA), in the UK, we throw away seven million tonnes of food and drink from our homes every year, the majority of which could have been eaten. In addition, WRAP research shows that the UK manufacturing and retail sector wastes 1.9 million tonnes of food and drink a year; of that, 1.1 million tonnes is believed to be avoidable. And that’s not even the whole story. There’s a further six million or so tonnes disposed of from other sources, including the hospitality industry.
This volume of waste is a significant environmental issue, not just in terms of having to deal with the material itself when it’s disposed of, but also the energy, land, transport emissions, and the like, that are wasted in producing the food in the first place.
Effectively reducing this vast amount of waste should be a key sustainability objective for everyone. It may no longer be flavour of the month, but the problem definitely hasn’t gone away. It will take education, perhaps legislation and certainly innovation to resolve the issues.
Products that protect food as it moves down the supply chain are essential. For example, our food grade polythene bags, for use by manufacturers and retailers, help keep products fresh and dry. They come in a hygienically-wrapped inner dispenser and strong cardboard outer cartons for safe storage. Appropriate, recyclable plastic packaging, such as these bags, plays a vital role in reducing the amount of food that is wasted before it gets to the consumer.
In terms of household food waste, the FSA identifies two main reasons that cause consumers to throw away good food:
• they buy or make too much or
• they don’t use it in time.
In partnership with a cookery writer, The FSA has developed recipes to help avoid food waste and recommends always eating, cooking or freezing food by the use by date to help tackle the problem.
Not all food waste could actually be eaten, however, even the most assiduous shopper/chef will have to dispose of bones and peelings for example. It is important this waste is kept separate from other waste streams. This is where compostable food waste liners and our anaerobic digestion (AD) friendly range come into play. These products are designed to make it easy for consumers and waste managers to deal with the waste appropriately and with the lowest environmental impact.
We must not ignore the mountain of food waste we produce and the impacts it has on our environment. We believe in supplying products that are lower cost to our customers, but also to the environment and our food bags play an important part in that commitment.
Download our brochure for more information on our food grade bags and compostable liners.