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The Great Food Waste Debate

Posted on by Rebecca

In the UK, we throw away more than 10 million tonnes of food waste each year, generated by households, retail, hospitality and food processing companies. While much is unavoidable – like off cuts, contaminated items and parts we don’t eat – we also waste too much.

This resulting waste largely ends up in landfill, where it produces significant levels of carbon dioxide. Over the last five years the amount of food waste recycling capacity in the UK has grown significantly, but to get to the stage when there are local recycling operations for every town there needs to be greater impetus in ensuring this waste is successfully diverted from landfill.

Over the last year there has been much debate amongst government and industry about how best to achieve this. Scotland has led the way, proposing a phased landfill ban and commercial waste collections.

Meanwhile in the UK, the Government is opposed to a ban hoping to achieve landfill diversion through voluntary means, however industry is calling for phased landfill ban to help it achieve the required capacity by guaranteeing feedstock and finance. Elsewhere, people are calling for greater reuse of food – such as the Feeding 5k campaign and a private members bill presented before Parliament earlier this year calling for retailers to be obliged to send their food waste to charities.

Prova’s client PDM, the UK’s largest food waste recycler, is leading the industry response through its Vision 2020 campaign. This campaign, which started off life as a 10 point manifesto document, has seen the establishment of a Visionary Panel – a group of 10 individuals across a variety of sectors who all bring their experience and expertise to drive best practice solutions on how best the UK should go about achieving zero food waste to landfill. The project will culminate in delivering a roadmap for change.

Anyone keen to support the eradication of food waste from landfill is asked to sign up to the Vision at

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