Global Food Waste

When we’re finishing up a delicious home cooked meal, we often take our plates over to the bin and scrape away the leftovers without giving it a moment’s thought. If it’s not enough to warrant another serving, why keep it? This casual disposal of leftover is common throughout the UK and countless other countries, but what impact might this small act be having on the problem of global food waste?

The figures above aren’t just alarming, they’re staggering. Throwing away food is something that we all do subconsciously every day, and while we can take steps to shop more responsibly and cook smaller portions, a little bit of waste at the end of the day is almost inescapable at times – particularly if you’re cooking for a big family. What you can control, however, is how that waste is managed. Imagine the good you could do with just a small change to how you disposed of your leftover food…

Even if it doesn’t go directly to hungry mouths, it still doesn’t have to end up decomposing in a landfill site adding to the harmful gasses in our atmosphere. Waste food can be recycled in other ways, from being used as fertiliser to being used as a direct power source, when it’s disposed of in the right way.

Now, picture how easy it would be to make a difference if you had the ability to dispose of your food in this way directly from your home. It would mean less waste to get taken off to landfill, and you’ll have an odour-free, hygienically clean kitchen without worrying about yesterday evening’s leftovers sitting in your bin. If it sounds too good to be true, it isn’t. We simply need to think differently about the amount of waste we produce, and how to better manage it from day-to-day.


Recycling Facts and Figures


The good news is, more and more people are getting onboard with recycling, but, there is still much more to be done. Here are some of the impressive facts:

Incentivising recycling facts

  • Want to power a tv for 3 hours? 1 recycled tin can would save enough energy.
  • Want to power a computer for 25 minutes? 1 recycled glass bottle will save enough energy.
  • Want to power a light bulb for 3 hours? 1 recycled plastic bottle would save enough energy.
  • 70% less energy is needed to recycle paper as oppose to making it from raw materials.

Recycling Facts – Tin Cans/Aluminium

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Recycling – what is involved?

The amount of waste that is being recycled in the UK, according to DEFRA* figures, is on the increase, whilst at the same time the amount being sent to landfill is reducing. Question now is do you know what happens to each material after the waste trucks have taken our recyclables away? What is the recycling process?

We will now review the recycling world and describe what happens next. We will look at how our old glass, plastic, aluminium and paper products are recycled.

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Waste Management – why?

Waste ManagementOne of biggest tasks in this country, that is never fully appreciated, is that of waste management. Planning the waste management and recycling for all of the rubbish that is produced. It involves both logistical planning and scientific knowledge & understanding, so as to balance the impact on the environment and the cost effectiveness of the process.

Waste management and recycling companies are consistently under extra pressure to perform their role in the greenest ways possible. Here in the UK, the resources and landfill sites are limited, and as a consequence, this has a major bearing on the kind of activities that are carried out; it is important to remember this.

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Reduce food waste and love leftovers


According to the government, consumers, retailers, wholesales and caterers in the UK waste around 8 million tonnes of manufactured food every year and half of this is wasted at home. The total value is estimated to be around £16bn. This is the equivalent of £700 per household each year.

Sainsbury’s Waste less campaign invested £1m to turn market town Swadlincote into an official test-bed of ideas and innovation. We have compiled some of the tips that were put together following this year long trial.

Stop food waste and get organised

Sainsbury’s research revealed that a quarter of people throw away food because they buy products they’ve already got in the fridge. It is said that overbuying results in £1.5bn being wasted by UK households annually. More organisation could change that.

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Food Waste Facts

Here are some interesting facts about food waste within the UK:

If we all were to stop wasting food that could have been eaten, it would have the same environmental benefit as removing 1 in 4 cars off the road.

Interesting fact – the waste of good food and drink is associated with 4% of the UK’s total water footprint.

Nearly 50% of food waste in the UK comes from our homes. We throw away nearly 7 million tonnes of food and drink from our homes every single year. Over 50% of that food waste is food and drink that we could have consumed.

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Recycling Food Waste

recycling food

Do you recycle food at home? Do you recycle food at your place of work?

More often than not, one will follow or encourage the other. So, the question is, do you know what happens to the food you recycle at home? Do you know how much recycling food helps?

Recycling food and help

Composting or recycling your food waste not only helps the environment but can also save tax payers money which can help protect front line services.

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Food Waste Supermarket in the UK

Reduce Food Waste


So we finally have a food waste supermarket available in the UK; it is in Pudsey, near Leeds.

The Real Junk Food Project, avid food waste campaigners, have opened “the warehouse”, a store on the Grangefield Industrial Estate. Any customers are invited to shop for food thrown out by supermarkets and other businesses.

Interestingly, the food is priced on a “pay as you feel” basis and has already helped desperate families struggling to feed their children.

One person said that they have relied on the warehouse so much that “it has been our lifeline over the past month or so”.

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Food waste collection for your business

food waste collection


It goes without saying; food waste is a huge burden on UK landfill sites. The cost of this and the issue is growing every day. Each year, around 18 million tonnes of food fails to be recycled and as a result it is sent to landfill.

It is easy to see that a lack of food waste recycling and poor food waste management will result in huge costs for businesses, overflowing landfills and permanent environmental damage.

On the other hand, having an efficient food waste management system in place can help save your business time, money and resources. We have qualified waste advisors who can provide your organisation with an extensive food waste management system. This will ensure that you are managing your food waste recycling and disposal suitably and sufficiently.

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Recycle Food Waste

recycle foodIf you are looking to reduce disposal fees and recycle food waste, waste reduction is one of the most cost effective ways forward. Although it can be said that most waste reduction practices are just simple good business practices, a massive amount of waste is still being produced. 75% of material in today’s landfill is recyclable or compostable, while 50-70% of the weight of a foodservice operation’s garbage consists of compostable food items. A food service operation without recycling, composting or any waste reduction program can reduce their disposal cost by at least half by implementing simple, structured practices. So whether you have decided to recycle food or are still on the fence, this article will hopefully help you further.

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More effort is needed to reduce food waste

Reduce food waste


In Birmingham, on the 7 July, described the amount of food that is thrown away in the UK as ‘absurd’. There is a plan of action being put into place to help reduce food waste further.

Ray Georgeson, the chair of the steering group behind the Food Waste Recycling Action Plan (FWRAP), made various comments about Anaerobic Digestion & Bioresources. From here there was a five-point plan presentation, the FWRAP ‘highlighted the current barriers to food waste recycling and then touched on some practical solutions to overcome them as cost effectively as possible’.

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Food Recycling – is enough being done?

Food waste has been a growing problem that has plagued food manufacturers, grocery stores and restaurants for  along time. There are several factors, including the number of locations, type and amount of food disposed of and then the average distance from food recycling facilities, and these all create unique constraints and possibilities for food waste diversion.
The question arises, is enough being doing to reduce food waste and improve food recycling?

Food Recycling is mosfood recyclingt attractive for manufacturers, but barriers remain

Back in 2013 there was 7.1 billion pounds of food waste generated by food manufacturers and then some 94.9 percents was diverted from landfills. A vast majority (86.6 percent) of this was repurposed for animal feed, while the rest went to fertiliser, compost and biofuel. Some 106 million pounds of discontinued, mislabled, bulk or otherwise safe but unsellable food was donated to families in need.

Manufacturers work with large volumes of food and ingredients, as well as a relatively limited number of manufacturing locations, which makes recycling the most attractive waste diversion method.

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A brief article on Food Waste

For today’s article we thought we would share some food waste facts that you might find interesting.

food waste

Every year, the average person produces nearly 475 pounds of food waste. That would work out as around 70+ million tons, thereby making it the third largest component by weight in our landfills.

As you can imagine, this food waste not only attracts vermin, it also emits odours and liquids that are toxic to the environment. This food waste generates methane gas; this is around 20 to 25 times more potent than CO2.

Step back a bit and think about the fact that this food waste needs to be picked up and hauled to the landfill. This then yields a high carbon footprint and this increases traffic congestion and gas consumption. Further to the environmental impact, for those businesses who deal with large quantities of food waste, the costs of disposal make a significant impact on the bottom line.

Here are 3 statistics about food waste that will interest you:

  • 15 million tonnes of food is thrown away each year.
  • In the UK we throw away 7 million tonnes of food and drink from our homes every year. The majority of this could have been eaten.
  • The food and drink that is thrown away costs us £12.5 billion a year.

Why Recycle Food Waste?

Recycle Food


Would you agree with the following statement? – When food is no longer suitable for consumption, it should be recycled, not sent to landfill.
Some still question why they should recycle food waste and do not join the rest of us in our effort/s to do so.

We would like to highlight six reasons, for your consideration:

Recycle Food – Save Money

Truth be told, landfill is the most expensive place to send your organisation’s waste. Recycling a tonne of food waste will cost at least £44 less than sending it to landfill. Landfill tax is rising by around £8/tonne every year, so the savings increase each year. Landfill sites are filling up and closing down.

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Top 10 Waste busting Tips

food recycling


It may sound obvious but the more your business can reduce, reuse and recycle its waste, the less your business will spend on the disposal and purchasing of unnecessary items. We have ten tips for you on how to cut back on your waste and save the environment at the same time as saving you money.

Try to reduce:

Packaging – be aware of the amount of packaging that is coming into your business from your suppliers. Perhaps you can consider buying products with less packaging. Products with more packaging are often more expensive; you will also have to pay for the disposal of the packaging too.

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Reduce food waste in your Restaurant

Reduce Food WasteA recent survey took place to find out more about leftovers at restaurants, what can be done to improve this and reduce food waste; below are the findings that we think are most interesting.

27% of people leave at the end of a ‘meal out’

In the research that took place, it was revealed that a quarter of respondents left food the last time they ate out. Thinking about whether or not food waste bothered these people, close to three fifths said they were not concerned.

UK pubs, restaurants, take-aways and hotels generate 600,000 tonnes of food waste. While some of this is made up of things like peelings and bones, the majority is perfectly good food – and it’s estimated that a third of it comes from diners. You can no doubt see the need to reduce food waste.

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Recycle Food at Work

recycle foodIf you choose to recycle food at work you will find that it is easy to set up and run, furthermore it could save you money and it will help to protect the environment.

Recycle Food – what does that include?

In order to establish what you can and can’t recycle, you will need to identify the what is currently being thrown away. We usually recommend looking in your waste bins to see what is being gathered. If you want a more accurate picture, speak to one of our consultants regarding a ‘waste review’.

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Lets talk about Anaerobic Digestion

anaerobic digestionIf you were think of a process that naturally breaks down organic materials into methane and carbon dioxide gas and fertiliser, you would be thinking of Anaerobic Digestion. This process can either take place naturally or in an anaerobic digester.

A typical anaerobic digester is a sealed vessel, or series of vessels, in which bacteria can act without oxygen. In order for this to work properly, the organic material contents need to be fully mixed and warmed; the warming usually takes it to blood temperature.

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