Stop Food Waste Day 2023
26 April marks Stop Food Waste Day 2023. We are all aware of the emissions associated with food production and distribution, but food waste also has a major environmental impact. Meeting our Net Zero goal and securing a more sustainable future relies on changing mindsets of individuals and businesses to value food as a precious resource.
Stop Food Waste Day started in 2017 by Compass Group US and is now recognised as a unifying movement to educate people on a global scale. According to The World Food Programme, one third of global food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted. Through a series of events, Stop Food Waste aims to increase awareness of the problem and share best practice.
Food waste has major implications for some of the greatest challenges we face today, including hunger and poverty, climate change, health and wellbeing and the sustainability of agriculture and oceans. Growing, harvesting and processing food is also highly energy intensive and by consigning food to landfill we increase the emission of methane, one of the most potent greenhouse gases.
WRAP estimates that 4.5 million tonnes of edible food is thrown away each year by UK households. Around a quarter of this waste is due to cooking, preparing or serving too much – costing households £3.5 billion a year.
The UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 12.3 sets a target to halve food waste by retailers andconsumers by 2030. We must all pay much closer attention to our food waste footprint, value the food we buy and eat and make behavioural changes to minimise waste.
Top ten tips for businesses wanting to minimise food waste:
- Educate staff about the consequences of food waste.
- Provide access to a freezer as well as a fridge so that food can be stored for longer.
- Encourage employees to share food within the workplace, make leftovers available for other
people to eat and organise buffet lunches where everyone brings a dish to share.
- Provide a special food waste bin in your kitchen area so that it doesn’t end up in landfill.
- Compost food waste and use it to grow your own and support biodiversity on your own site.
- Provide essentials like milk for everyone in the workplace to share so that they don’t have to
bring their own.
- Check that the temperature of your fridge is correct to ensure that food lasts longer.
- Encourage people to look at use-by rather than best before dates before throwing food
- If there is food left over after a meeting or event, make it available to other staff.
- Donate unused food to local food banks.