Thursday, December 14News For London

Don’t be a binner, have it for dinner: millenials targeted over food waste

Waste reduction charity Wrap is poised to launch an anti-food waste campaign focused on 18-34 year olds living in urban areas. Research shows that millennials are the generation that throws away most food.

In the UK more than £13bn of edible food was thrown out in 2015
Photo: Wrap

A Wrap spokesperson told Westminster World:

“We will be using a targeted approach to reach the right people using Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram – all channels we know are popular with our target audience. We’re advertising our content to ensure we really reach the right people and not just our existing fans and followers.”

Food waste is the third largest source of greenhouse gas emissions after China and the US according to the UN Food and Agricultural Organization.

But if you live in London how can you save money on your food bill and avoid food waste?

  • Download Too Good to Go  – an app that makes some restaurants’ surplus food available for you before they end their breakfast, lunch or dinner service. For between £2-£3.80, you choose to buy food from a cafe, restaurant, bakery or food shop near you, then go to collect your food during the designated time slot. First set up in Denmark, the app launched in the UK in June 2016. To date it has saved 1.6m meals from ending up in landfill.
  • Sign up for the Community fridge network which currently has community fridges in Camberwell, Cricklewood, Hackney, Islington, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest where surplus food is shared between people in a community, by local businesses and individuals. Tessa Tricks, Creative Partner at Hubbub Foundation which oversees the community fridge programme told Westminster World: “Approximately 600 people have used the London fridges to date. The fridge in Camberwell redistributes approx. 1.4 tonnes of food a month.”
  • Start using food sharing app Olio  that connects people with their neighbours and with local shops so surplus food and other items can be shared instead of being thrown away. To make food available, you open the app, add the item with a photo, description, and when it is available for pick-up. To access food, you browse the available items, request what you want and arrange collection via private messaging. Drop boxes are available in local shops so items can be left for pre-arranged collection at your convenience. 401,208 food items have been shared n 41 countries since the app launched in July 2015.
More generally, UK supermarket chains have recognised the need to cut the 7.3 million tonnes of food every year that UK households waste. Choose to spend your money with the retailer whose approach most appeals to you. 
In February 2016 Sainsbury’s announced it would become the first supermarket to remove multibuys “to help customers buy exactly what they need”.

Tesco has committed to ensuring that no food that is safe for human consumption will go to waste from its UK retail operations by the end of 2017.

Today East of England Co-op became the first major retailer to sell food beyond its “best before” date. The company announced it will sell out-of date dried food and tinned products for just 10p to try to reduce food waste. The chain’s “Don’t be a Binner, have it for dinner” campaign follows a successful three-month trial in 14 East of England Co-op stores around East Anglia.

Since 2012, Waitrose sends any food unsuitable for donating to local charities and social enterprises to be used to generate energy through anaerobic digestion.

And a spokesperson for the UK-wide Co-op Group told Westminster World:

“Since its launch in 2015, donating warehouse depot surplus food to FareShare has helped to provide more than a million meals to vulnerable people UK-wide.”

Last week waste reduction charity Wrap, the Food Standards Agency and Defra published new food labelling guidance to try to improve consumer understanding of food storage and and date label advice. ‘Use by’ date labels indicate when a product is safe to eat. ‘Best before’ date labels only refer to when food is at its best. It is safe to sell food at or after its “best before” date providing the discounted items are undamaged.

(Sub-Tom Geggus)