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Waste – on the up?
The situation around food waste and the Covid pandemic seems confused – at the beginning of lockdown when many people rushed out to stockpile, some councils reported that food waste was up by as much as 20 per cent within several weeks.
Also, with more people ordering goods to be delivered in their homes from couriers and delivery agents like Amazon and other online ordering companies – and by being at home generally – cardboard and packaging waste arose too.
Yet, The Guardian, reporting on 29 July, stated that: “The government’s waste advisory body, Wrap, said self-reported food waste was up by 30%, reversing progress made at the start of the pandemic as consumers threw away less food while confined to their homes.”
So, what is the true picture? Because it seems that some reports say food waste was up at the beginning, but others say since lockdown ended it has increased more. Well, largely, reports, whether before, during or after lockdown, show that figures for waste seem to generally be accepted as having increased this year.
The organisation ‘Love Food Hate Waste’, which raises awareness of the need to reduce food waste encourages us to take personal action for our part in the problem. Its website reports that every year 6.5 million tonnes, 4.5 million of which is edible, is wasted. Meaning the last few bits from your plate that you maybe couldn’t quite eat, or your bread crusts, or even potato peelings –which could have been transformed into something delicious, are wasted. Those 4.5 million tonnes are enough to fill 38 million wheelie bins, or 90 Royal Albert Halls.
Our food waste answer seems to lie within individual families making small changes about the way they waste food or other refuse. The Love Food, Hate Waste website offers ideas and solutions to help out with doing your bit.