Waste Not, Want Not

3rd May 2019

Written by Victoria Wharton, Senior Account Manager

2018 was the year many brands joined the fight to tackle plastic waste, in 2019 food waste seems to be the next target.

Did you know that over 1/3 of all food produced globally goes to waste? Or that the annual value of food waste globally is $1 trillion?

Those stats might not mean much to you, and as we’ve pointed out, they’re ‘globally’- so we don’t need to worry about it, right?

Wrong.

Let me share a couple of stats that might resonate more with you…

  • In the average UK family home, food waste amounts to £800 a year, and in the US this figure rises to $2,275 – this adds up to £15 billion per year!
  • In most developed countries, over half of all food waste takes place in the home.

We’re effectively throwing £800 in the bin every year.

You may also think that supermarkets or restaurants are the main cause of food wastage, so we shouldn’t worry too much, but waste at retail store level is less than 2% of total food waste.

When we’re constantly talking about what we can do to help the environment, what can we do to stop hunger around the world – why don’t we actually do anything? People hear the world ‘global’ and automatically think that they’re actions won’t make a difference.

Unfortunately, if you’re thinking that, there’s a high possibility that thousands are also thinking the same, I’ll hold my hands up and say I used to be one of them.

Thankfully brands are starting to spark some action. Take Hellman’s Canada for example, they created a wonderful piece of content, bringing the stat to life using every day situation so that people begin to realise the impact they could have if they started to make small changes too.

Home appliance brand Hotpoint teamed up with Jamie Oliver to launch a pop-up café for the finale of its Fresh Thinking for Forgotten Food campaign. All dishes were inspired by the most commonly wasted ingredients in the UK and designed to encourage people to be creative with their leftovers.

https://youtu.be/DnZD0E3kVWg

More recently, dairy brand Elmlea also launched their own pop-up café. They wanted to highlight the issue of food waste through a pop-up restaurant – just around the corner from HoE HQ in Fitzrovia!

The “Taste, not waste” café served up free lunches on a first come, first served basis. The zero-waste menu included both sweet and savoury dishes. It featured the top 20 food items that are most likely to end up in landfill, including lettuce, bread, cucumber, milk, bananas, tomatoes, chicken, cream and potatoes.

Next time you look at that lonely pepper in the fridge or the eggs you’re never going to use, think twice before throwing it away. Remember there are other people around the world less fortunate to have the ‘luxury’ to even buy these foods, let alone throw them away when they’re perfectly fine to eat.

We need to start thinking about our planet and our neighbours more and I can’t think of a better (or easier) place to start than our very own fridge at home.