Food and catering businesses have thrown their weight behind the first ever food waste action week in an effort to raise awareness of the link between food waste and climate change.
Part of WRAP’s Love Food Hate Waste campaign, the week of activities aims to help people make the connection between household food waste and the impact it has on the environment.
UK households produce around 70% of the UK’s 9.5 million tonnes of food waste every year at a cost of £14bn, according to WRAP. Of that waste, 4.5 million tonnes is food that could have been eaten.
Globally, around a third of all food produced is lost or wasted, which contributes between 8-10% of total greenhouse gas emissions.
Compass, Sodexo, IHG Hotels & Resorts and Nestlé UK & Ireland are among the food and hospitality businesses supporting this week’s campaign.
Sodexo is sharing food waste reduction tips and recipes with its own teams as well as with customers. The company has made a pledge to reduce food waste by 50% by 2030, in line with UN sustainable development goals.
Compass said it has a three-pronged approach to reducing food waste that involves preventing food going unsold or uneaten, recovering surplus food to help feed people in need, and recycling food waste. In 2020, it donated 267 tonnes of food, enough to provide 635,000 meals for people in need.
Recent research from WRAP shows people struggle to make the connection between food waste and climate change. Although 81% of people in the UK are concerned about climate change, less than a third (32%) see a clear link with food waste.
“Climate change is happening now and is the greatest threat to our planet, and our future generations,” said WRAP CEO Marcus Gover. “We must act, fast. Wasting food has a huge contribution to global emissions but is often overlooked or ignored.”