Published: Monday, 7th March 2022
The UK’s second national Food Waste Action Week began on Monday, 7 March 2022, with the Borough Council of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk joining as a partner.
The second annual Food Waste Action Week began on Monday, 7 March. It will raise people’s awareness of the huge impact of household food waste on climate change and share practical advice, food savvy behaviours and tips on how we can all easily reduce the food we waste in our homes.
We throw away 6.6 million tonnes of household food waste a year in the UK. This food waste is responsible for nearly 25 million tonnes of CO2 emissions, equivalent to 5.4% of the UK’s territorial emissions. The majority, 4.5 million tonnes is food that could have been eaten and is worth approximately £14 billion (or £60 a month an average family with two children). It requires an area almost the size of Wales to produce all the food and drink currently wasted in the UK.
Cllr Paul Kunes, Cabinet member for Environment at the borough council, said: “It’s right to remind all our residents how they can help the environment during Food Waste Action Week. Using your kitchen caddy and putting your large grey food waste caddy out for collection with your waste or recycling collection each week reduces CO2, can create electricity to power our homes and creates nutrient rich biofertilizer used by farmers to grow crops.
“If you’ve lost or misplaced your kitchen caddy or large grey outdoor food waste caddy please ask for a free replacement at west-norfolk.gov.uk/yourbins.”
Residents can line their kitchen food waste caddies with old plastic carrier bags, bread bags, fruit and veg bags and other freezer/sandwich bags, or use these to put food waste in. This will keep their caddy and outside bin clean and hygienic - and also provide an additional use for single-use plastic bags. Alternatively, caddies can be lined with newspaper.
Love Food Hate Waste runs an annual survey of people’s habits and knowledge around food waste. This highlighted that 81% of UK citizens are concerned about climate change, but only 32% see a clear link with food waste. The survey helped to inform the theme of the Week and the development of materials to motivate people to act. This year, Love Food Hate Waste found that the public’s relationship with its freezers has become particularly frosty with many people not knowing how to safely freeze and defrost their food.
Sarah Clayton, Love Food Hate Waste: “Getting to grips with freezing and defrosting are big factors in preventing food from going to waste at home. At a time of rising food prices alongside huge public concern about climate change, tackling food waste at home is one way we can all make a difference and save money. For the average family with children, the cost of binning food can be more than £700 per year. So, Food Waste Action Week is all about avoiding being savvy in how we store but then use our food.”
Love Food Hate Waste is keen to show that used properly, the freezer is the king of the kitchen. In fact, freezing and defrosting just three key meat items that are commonly not used in time (fresh chicken, bacon, and sausages) could reduce waste of those items by as much as 15,000 tonnes per annum. And, when it comes to defrosting, busy households can avoid a lengthy overnight defrost by using their microwave instead – as people use a toaster to defrost sliced bread from the freezer.
Working together, we can prevent food being wasted needlessly and protect the planet.