New food waste week campaign is a recipe for a healthy planet and healthy people

1-7 March marks the UK’s first Food Waste Action Week, dedicated to raising awareness of the environmental consequences of letting this vital resource go to waste. The campaign, from sustainability experts, WRAP, will promote activities intended to help make food loss a thing of the past.

This new endeavour feels particularly pertinent now, as the world continues to battle COVID-19. The pandemic has prompted many changes to our daily lives, from initial panic buying and stockpiling, to more people cooking from scratch, as a result of lockdown. These behaviour trends can result in more ingredients being wasted; however, there are some positive indications that this is not necessarily the case. A nationwide UK poll of just over 2,000 for the ‘State of the Nation’s Plate’ report by environmental charity, Hubbub indicates 48 percent of respondents said they are throwing less food away since the restrictions began.

Food Waste Action Week also comes at a time when there are increasing calls to do more, and act now, to combat climate change. Food waste has a significant, yet often overlooked impact on climate change. The UN report ‘Food wastage footprint: Impact on natural resources’ indicates that a third of food worldwide is left uneaten and that this loss is responsible for adding a staggering 3.3 billion tonnes of greenhouse gases to the planet’s atmosphere.

Clearly the greatest effort should be made to reduce the level of surplus food discarded in the first place. However, when food needs to be thrown-away, we all know that it can be collected and effectively handled and disposed of through composting and anaerobic digestion. Yet much of it still ends up in landfill where it decomposes and gives off methane, a potent greenhouse gas, contributing to climate change.

Small compostable food caddy liners available at Cromwell

How can local authorities help?

Over the past few years, there has been an impressive increase in the number of local authorities who offer kerbside food waste collections. However, figures provided by 326 English local authorities to waste reduction body WRAP for 2018/2019 shows almost half – 160 councils, covering 11.7 million households – do not provide any food waste collections for their residents.

To ensure full success and reduction in food waste levels, recycling of it should be something that all local authorities offer. In fact, a recent government consultation undertaken for the Environment Bill indicated that, by doing so, 1.35 million tonnes more food waste would be picked up by 2029, cutting greenhouse gases from food rotting in landfill by an estimated 1.25 million tonnes a year.

Councils and waste management companies will be looking to provide facilities for both businesses and households with an outlet where they can dispose of their food waste. This could be in the form of a food caddy which is collected kerbside, or even a designated food waste bin in a public area.

How can we help?

We supply a range of compostable sacks and caddy liners to fit all standard sizes that support food and organic waste management strategies. Manufactured from Ecopond® biodegradable plastic, using starch and lactide-based derivatives of plant sources, these products are fully compliant with the European composting standard (EN13432), which requires more than 90% of the plastic mass to convert into biomass, CO2, and water, with no harmful residue.

Compostable caddy liners can help remove public barriers to recycling food waste. Alternative options such as plastic bags produce high contamination rates, and paper or ‘no bag’ options tend to be disliked due to the mess this produces.

Tackling food waste now is a must to help save the planet. You can find a range of tips on how to do so in the Literature Bank on our website. For more information visit https://www.cromwellpolythene.co.uk or call us on 01977 686 868 or email info@cromwellpolythene.co.uk.