In Scotland we’re wasting a fifth of the food we buy every year – most of which could have been avoided.
Not only does wasting food cost money but it’s also bad for the environment. Every year we throw away 630,000 tonnes of food and drink, costing Scots over £1billion annually.
A new Scottish Government campaign is encouraging people across the country to reduce their food waste, to help save cash and the environment. By making a few small changes to cut your food waste you could save on average around £470 a year – which is an average of £40 a month.
Environment Secretary, Richard Lochhead said: “If we all play our part in reducing the amount of food we waste, we’ll save money and help create a greener, cleaner Scotland for everyone. We can all go greener together by doing our bit.
“All it takes is making a few small changes to the way we shop and making an effort to recycle the food we can’t use; before long it will have a big effect on our environment and our pockets.”
When we throw away food that could have been eaten, most of it rots in landfill which creates methane a harmful greenhouse gas, and carbon dioxide – both of which contribute to climate change. Methane is around 25 times more damaging to the environment than carbon dioxide and avoidable food waste produces the equivalent of 1.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide each year.
If we used up all the food and drink we currently waste, it would cut carbon emissions that would be equal to taking one in four cars off Scotland’s roads.
Throwing away food also wastes the energy, fuel, water and time that it took to grow, harvest, store, transport and cook. Whether we’ve bought too much food or not planned to eat it on time, many of us are wasting food without thinking.Avoiding food waste in the first place is ten times better for the environment but recycling food also helps to cut greenhouse gases. So, if you do have food you have to throw away, the message is clear - recycle it using your local food waste collection service where possible or you compost it.
Food waste is collected from more than a million households in Scotland and is either composted or put through a special process which generates green energy, heat and environmentally-friendly fertiliser products which can be used by Scotland’s farmers.
The service is being extended across Scotland to make it even easier for more people to play a part in reducing the environmental impact of food waste.
For more tips and information on wasting less food, food recycling and local food waste collections services in your area go to greenerscotland.org