With an online social media campaign, Mid and East Antrim Borough Council is supporting Food Waste Action Week.
Food Waste Action Week aims to promote public awareness about the significant impact of household food waste on climate change and to give practical advice, food wise behaviours, and suggestions on how we can all easily minimise the amount of food we waste at home.
In the UK, we discard 6.6 million tonnes of home food waste each year. Nearly 25 million tonnes of CO2 are emitted as a result of food waste, accounting for 5.4 percent of the UK’s total emissions. The majority, 4.5 million tonnes, is food that could have been consumed and is worth £14 billion (or £60 a month for a typical family of two children). To produce all of the food and drink currently thrown away in the UK, an area nearly the size of Wales is required.
This week, the council will launch a social media communications campaign with great suggestions on all food-related topics. We continue to advise you to plan your meals, keep your food properly, and recycle any food waste you may have.
Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Councillor William McCaughey at Mid and East Antrim Borough Council said: “We’re supporting Food Waste Action Week for the second year running as we know the importance when planning, shopping, storing, using and recycling food. At a time when our residents are feeling a pinch on the purse strings, we know now more than ever the value of being mindful when it comes to our food management. This campaign will help to raise awareness on how we can encourage our residents to plan meals better and how to extend the lifespan of their food products through clever preparation and storage.”
Love Food Hate Waste conducts an annual assessment of people’s food waste behaviours and knowledge. This revealed that while 81 percent of UK citizens are concerned about climate change, only 32% see a strong link between food waste and climate change. The results of the survey were used to help establish the Week’s theme and resources to encourage people to take action. This year, Love Food Hate Waste discovered that the public’s connection with their freezers has deteriorated, with many individuals unable to safely store and thaw their food.
Sarah Clayton, Love Food Hate Waste, “Getting to grips with freezing and defrosting are big factors in preventing food from going to waste at home. At a time of rising food prices alongside huge public concern about climate change, tackling food waste at home is one way we can all make a difference and save money. For the average family with children, the cost of binning food can be more than £700 per year. So, Food Waste Action Week is all about avoiding being savvy in how we store but then use our food.”
Love Food, Hate Waste is on a mission to prove that the freezer is the king of the kitchen when utilised properly. In fact, freezing and defrosting just three key meat items that are frequently not consumed in a timely manner (fresh chicken, bacon, and sausages) could save up to 15,000 tonnes of waste per year. When it comes to defrosting, busy homes can save time by utilising their microwave instead of an overnight defrost – similar to how people use a toaster to thaw sliced bread from the freezer.
We can avoid food waste and protect the environment by working together.”