410,000 tonnes of potato peel and skin, and 110,000 tonnes of bread ends and crusts are thrown away every year in the UK. For those of us working in the waste industry, we’re aware of the impact that this food waste has on the planet, and ultimately, ourselves. Not only are the resources that go into growing, harvesting and shipping the food wasted, but the impact of food waste in landfill is leading to increasing levels of methane in our environment.
It’s a complex issue, and not one easily communicated to residents in the little time we have to engage with them. How can we communicate all these impacts in one flyer or one social media post?
It helps to break it down. Food waste comes in all different shapes and sizes – and unfortunately it starts before it’s even left the farm. Our recent report found that food waste and surplus in primary production totalled an estimate 3.6 million tonnes a year. Householders can’t do much to prevent this waste – but they CAN change what happens in their own homes. And you can help them.
WRAP’s Love Food, Hate Waste (LFHW) creates powerful campaigns that go from success to success. Based on behavioural science, each campaign is designed to engage and educate householders on avoidable food waste – whether that be freezing your produce to make them last longer, or sharing delicious recipies to use up everything you have.The most recent campaign, complEATing, encouraged people to eat ALL of their food including pizza crusts, bread crusts, and brocolli stalks. Aimed at 18-24 year olds, the campaign increased LFHW’s Instagram followers by 30%; reached over eight million people online; and had support from over 50 WRAP partners. We were really pleased to see a huge number of local authorities engaging with this campaign and encouraging residents to think about food waste. Our partners have also been engaging with the Spoiled Rotten campaign which encourages people to only buy what they need. It has reached four million people so far, and again local authorities have been fantastic at spreading the word. The next campaign moment, kicking off on 7 October is on food strorage and we would love your help in sharing it.
Tackling food waste is not something we can do alone, but by working together we can help spread the word further and value the food we buy more. If you need any resources to help, you can access our ready-made materials on the WRAP Resource Library, including social media templates, posters and images. By focusing on the elements of food waste that householders can change, we really could make a big difference.