New report shows how much Londoners have reduced food waste and saved money
You’ve done it West London – reduced avoidable food waste by 14% saving yourselves £millions and your local councils over £250,000 in 6 months.
You’ve probably seen the Love Food Hate Waste campaign in various places over the last year – on tube station posters, the back of buses, posters on your local high street and at various community events throughout the summer.
We know that around 30% of the rubbish in black bags and wheeled bins across West London is food and it costs £7.6 million to send it to landfill sites each year. So we worked with the national campaign Love Food Hate Waste and Recycle for London to help you (our residents) and everyone else in London reduce food waste to save you money. Using money from Recycle for London and staff time from the Waste Prevention team at West London Waste Authority we took the simple and effective messages and tips (on howt in to our community.
As a result people were able to see food waste prevention in action, build confidence in what they are doing and really understand the benefits, such as saving money and helping the environment. This led to significant changes in behaviour – those strongly influenced by the campaign reduced their own avoidable food waste by a staggering 43%.
Emma Marsh, Head of Love Food Hate Waste, said: “There are significant savings to be made both financially and environmentally by preventing food waste. But to achieve these we all need to come together to help each other waste less food – be that individuals, communities, local authorities and businesses. By all working together we can help develop new habits when we shop, cook and store food that leads to less food being wasted and big savings on our weekly budgets.”
There’s lots of interesting facts in the report which you can read on the WRAP website, but here are some of the highlights:
- In the UK we throw away 7.2 million tonnes of food and drink a year, 4.4 million tonnes of which could have been eaten
- In London alone, it’s 540,000 tonnes of avoidable food waste. It costs consumers in London £1.4 billion per year to purchase the food and drink that ends up being thrown away, and generates the equivalent of 2.1 million tonnes of CO2
- Some West London residents reduced the amount of avoidable food waste generated by 43%
- The cost to London Boroughs of disposing of its food waste is estimated at over £50 million per annum – the reductions in total food waste following the campaign could save the West London Boroughs up to £1.3 million per annum and deliver up to £8 savings for every £1 spent on implementing the campaign.
- If the 14% reduction in West London is scaled up to the whole of London, for a year it would equate to 29,400 tonnes of avoidable food waste. This would see a £79 million cost saving to residents.