When you think about reducing your carbon footprint, you may often consider switching your car for a bike, or using renewable energy, but did you know that reducing food waste can also reduce your carbon footprint?
We produce enough food across the world to wipe out global hunger but 40% of food goes to waste. That is 2.5 billion tonnes of food, thrown away each year. The UK has cut down on its food waste in recent years, but we still throw away 9.52 million tonnes of food waste a year, according to the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP). This wasted food is disposed of during the manufacturing process, by the retail and hospitality sectors, and by households all over the country.
Households cause 70% of the UK's food waste, throwing away 6.6 million tonnes of food a year - 4.5 million tonnes of which is edible. This is at a time when 68.1% of UK households are worried that increasing energy prices means they will not be able to buy enough food, according to the Food Foundation.
Potatoes are the most wasted food in the UK, with 1.6 billion thrown away every year, according to WRAP. The most thrown away food group in the country is fresh vegetables and salad, which makes up 28% of edible food waste. 41% of this food is thrown away because it was not used in time, 28% is wasted due to personal preferences, and another 25% goes in the bin because people cooked, prepared, or were served too much food.
We collect food and garden waste bins once every two weeks, and they are only for food and garden waste items which can be composted in the process used by our contractor. The process is known as In-Vessel Composting (IVC) which takes approximately 10 to 18 weeks. Unfortunately, biodegradable and corn starch bags do not break down quickly enough as part of this process, and as a result can leave plastics in the compost. This then must be screened by farmers, and can be rejected. So, if you wrap your food waste, please use newspaper or paper bags and not plastic or recyclable or compostable bags.