While 81 per cent of people in the UK say they are concerned about climate change, only 32 per cent see a clear link with wasting food.
This week’s campaign to change that perception is being backed by the Barnsley, Doncaster and Rotherham (BDR) Waste Partnership and Renewi, the firm behind the award-winning waste treatment facility at Manvers.
Every year in the UK, 6.6 million tonnes of household food is thrown away – creating nearly 25 million tonnes of CO 2 emissions, equivalent to 5.4 per cent of the UK’s territorial emissions.
The majority of this is food which could have been eaten and is worth about £60 per month to the average family with two children.
Manvers-based Community Education Liaison Officer, Abi Reid, said previous Love Food Hate Waste campaigns had successfully reduced the amount of food waste thrown away in Barnsley, Doncaster and Rotherham by as much as seven per cent.
“Our last intensive campaign was in 2017, but since then food waste figures have been creeping up. Our latest analysis of binned food waste shows that 37 per cent of our general waste in BDR is currently made up of food, almost three quarters of it edible or drinkable when it was thrown away.
“This is where we can all make the biggest difference to both the planet and our wallets because it costs the BDR councils more than £2m a year to dispose of avoidable food waste. This is in addition to more than £170m BDR households are spending on food which is thrown away.
“Each of us can make small changes – saving one slice of bread, one potato, one drop of milk – they all add up to make a big difference for us and our planet.”
Waste Reduction Charity WRAP run the annual Love Food Hate Waste campaign and a regular survey of people’s habits and knowledge about food waste.
Their latest findings show the public’s relationship with its freezers has become frosty.
Spokesperson Sarah Clayton said: “Getting to grips with freezing and defrosting are big factors in preventing food from going to waste at home.
"Freezing and defrosting three commonly thrown away meat items – fresh chicken, bacon and sausages – could reduce waste of those items by as much as 15,000 tonnes per annum.”
More top tips including portion planning, careful shopping, better storage, understanding ‘use by’ and ‘best before’ labels, loving your leftovers, and making the most of your freezer can be found at www.wasteless-sy.co.uk
Note to Editors: The waste treatment facility at Manvers processes around a quarter of a million tonnes of leftover household waste a year from 340,000 homes across Barnsley, Doncaster and Rotherham, turning it into useful products rather than sending it to landfill.