Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury:It’s the time of year that seems to highlight just how much our society wastes. It is not just food which is the worst waste of all but, additionally, packaging and wrapping from the Christmas presents. Let’s hope that we have all recycled as much as we can!
Since the last campaign against food waste, there has been some minor success in reducing the amount of edible food thrown away, particularly by the large supermarkets. It is good to see that 8 out of 10 of Sainsburys supermarkets now donate their waste food to projects caring for needy people but how much better would it be if there was no waste at all?
New figures recently issued by the recycling advisory body ‘Wrap’ show that the average household now throws away £470 worth of food per year that could have been eaten. This avoidable food waste generated 19million tonnes of greenhouse gases throughout its lifetime. Preventing this pollution would be as effective as taking one in four cars off the road.
Between 2007 and 2012, avoidable food waste reduced by 21%; this was in part due to rising food prices and better advice regarding ‘use by’ dates in conjunction with the campaign to raise awareness. Unfortunately, this progress has stalled somewhat with the reduction in food prices and the rise in wages since 2014 has curtailed the incentive for people to cut waste.
We all need to be doing more to cut food waste. Don’t be tempted by offers to buy food you don’t really want or need – the days of the ‘bogof’ have ended but if food is sold very cheaply, the chances are that it won’t be very good and will end up in the bin!