April 28th is Stop Food Waste Day, an international day of action in the fight against food waste. Food waste is a global issue, and we all need to do our part to help eliminate it. The UN reports that 17% of all food at consumer level is wasted, equating to more than 931 million tons of food. This happens despite 690 million people going hungry globally each night. Eradicating food waste has broad benefits that include diverting unused resources to those who need it, decreasing the environmental impact, and reducing business waste disposal costs.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, the issue of food waste has been brought into sharper focus. The restrictions on restaurants forced businesses to throw away £16.7 million worth of food in the first months of the pandemic. The quick changes to lockdown rules, though necessary, left tonnes of food headed for landfill as the hospitality sector abandoned service. As restrictions begin to lift in the UK, restaurants, hotels, and catering companies are now seeking business waste companies that can help them better manage their food waste.
In the UK, it’s estimated that 10% of households face food insecurity, even though 70% of wasted food is edible. Some of that food is being diverted back to charities that create meals for community members. FareShare, a UK non-profit that works with grocers, restaurants, and food manufacturers, has redistributed 24,074 tonnes of food to charities.
High food waste takes its toll on the environment, contributing to Green House Gas (GHG) emissions, taking up space in landfills, and wasting resources such as water and land. It takes approximately 100 buckets of water to produce just one loaf of bread, and the space it takes to produce wasted food in the UK is estimated at 19,000 square kilometres. Diverting even a small amount through business waste services can reduce the more than 3.3 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide produced by food waste each year.
Restaurant waste management is critical to the UK in reducing food waste. Much of the wasted food comes from restaurant waste collections, with the average food service disposing of 9% of their total purchased food. Proper catering waste management can reduce food waste at the cause and divert it into composting and animal feed.
While it is crucial to the environment to reduce food waste, there are economic benefits as well. Decreasing hotel waste collections and catering waste collections means that you will pay less overall for your business waste services. A good business waste disposal company will work with your company to eliminate waste at the source, preventing you from paying for the food twice – once to purchase it and again to throw it away.
Work with a commercial waste management company that offers solutions to food waste and offers CAT 3 recycling to reduce harmful CO2 equivalent gasses. We all need to do our part to ensure our planet is safe for future generations and no one goes hungry.