Food Waste Action Week 2023
Q. What is the greatest percentage of our black bin waste in Devon?
- Plastic packaging
You may be surprised to learn that food waste is the culprit! Nearly a third (28.2%) of our black bin waste is food, compared to 10.5% plastic packaging and 2.3% glass.
We are still throwing away huge amounts of food on a regular basis and it’s not just peelings and inedible items. A recent study found that 79% of food found in people’s black bin was avoidable and a whopping 35% is still packaged.
Food Waste Action Week 2023 (6th to 12th March) is the perfect time to look at how we can make our food go further and save money, time and the planet.
Recycle Devon is supporting the national Food Waste Action Week campaign which encourages residents to “Win. Don’t Bin” by offering tips and recipe ideas.
It seems we massively underestimate the carbon impact of food production and consumption. Globally, it is a significant contributor to carbon emissions, accounting for 30% of man-made CO2e greenhouse gases. Much of the food produced is wasted in the home, with UK households throwing away 4.5 million tonnes of food that could have been eaten.
A Waste Resource Action Programme (WRAP) Food Trends survey undertaken in 2021 found that we are already taking some measures to reduce food waste, such as checking the fridge before shopping, keeping track of food in the fridge, using food before it reaches the date label and using up leftovers. However, it also highlighted waste saving actions that we are less likely to use, such as checking the fridge temperature, making a weekly meal plan, avoiding unplanned purchases and labelling items before storing in the fridge and freezer.
Many of us adopted these good habits during the Covid–19 pandemic which resulted in a significant drop in food waste. Self-reported amounts of wasted bread, potatoes, milk and chicken dropped substantially in the first lockdown (by 43%) and for a time remained well below pre-pandemic levels. However, the latest finding demonstrates that food waste is increasing back towards 2018 levels.
As we have gradually returned to normal post Covid, busy lifestyles and eating out regularly has made it hard for these good habits to continue. However, the increasing cost of living is now squeezing many household budgets, with over half (52%) of UK households surveyed expressing concerns.
Reducing food waste and making food go further is one area that can help keep household expenses down. For tips and recipes, follow Recycle Devon’s Facebook, Instagram or Twitter feeds during Food Waste Action Week 2023.