“It is sad that so much food is being wasted needlessly” explains Dr Liz Goodwin, WRAP Chief Executive. “At a cost of £8 billion a year, it’s a serious issue that not only impacts the environment but our pockets too”.
The ‘Love Food Hate Waste’ campaign has been created to raise awareness of the issue with consumers and provide information on what simple steps can be taken to combat the problem, which has a significant environmental impact.
“Our research showed that 90% of consumers are completely unaware of the amount of food they throw away. Once attention is drawn to it however, we know that people are surprised and keen to take action,” comments Liz Goodwin.
Most of the food thrown away ends up in landfill where it produces methane, a highly potent greenhouse gas. However, this is only part of the picture. You also have to consider all the embedded energy used to produce, package, transport and deliver the food to our homes which produces the equivalent of at least 15 million tonnes of carbon dioxide every year.
WRAP believes that action on food waste would deliver big environment benefits. “If we could halt the amount of food being wasted in this way, we would make a big impact – the same as taking 1 in 5 cars off UK roads” explains Liz Goodwin.
Joan Ruddock, Defra Minister with responsibility for recycling and waste, said: “Food production and consumption has a serious impact on the environment. There is a lot individuals can do to reduce their carbon footprint, including reducing their food waste. This campaign will show them how easy this can be and that it makes financial and environmental sense.
“WRAP’s work with retailers and consumer groups to spread the message and raise awareness is vital. But we also need the food industry to change. That's why the Government has introduced the Food Industry Sustainability Strategy (FISS), so that we can work with them to improve their environmental, social and economic performance.”
In addition to press advertising and a supporting PR campaign that features celebrity chefs, home economists and well known personalities, the Love Food Hate Waste campaign features a website www.lovefoodhatewaste.com which gives advice, ideas on preparation, storage, portioning and recipes.
The campaign is also fully supported by the Women’s Institute, who are launching their own ‘Love Food Champions’ initiative which will reach out to communities and provide on the ground support on how to minimise food waste across the UK.
“We are passionate about food and preventing waste. We want to help individuals and families to reduce waste and that’s why we are strongly supporting Love Food Hate Waste” says Fay Mansell, NFWI Chair.
Ainsley Harriott, the popular TV chef is supporting the campaign, along with several other chefs and well known celebrities: “The amount of food we throw away is criminal and we all need to take action and start changing our behaviour. That’s why I’m supporting Love Food Hate Waste,” he says. “This campaign is aimed at everyone. You don’t have to be a chef to know how to cut down on food waste, you just need to care about your food and your pocket and the rest will follow.”
For more information on the Love Food Hate Waste campaign, visit: www.lovefoodhatewaste.com
Key findings of our recent research on the nature, scale and causes of household food waste can be found at: www.wrap.org.uk/retail/food_waste/index.html
WRAP works in partnership to encourage and enable businesses and consumers to be more efficient in their use of materials and recycle more things more often. This helps to minimise landfill, reduce carbon emissions and improve our environment.
Established as a not-for-profit company in 2000, WRAP is backed by Government funding from Defra and the devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Working in seven key areas (Construction, Retail, Manufacturing, Organics, Business Growth, Behavioural Change, and Local Authority Support), WRAP’s work focuses on market development and support to drive forward recycling and materials resource efficiency within these sectors, as well as wider communications and awareness activities including the multi-media national Recycle Now campaign for England.
More information on all of WRAP's programmes can be found on www.wrap.org.uk