1.4 million bananas; 24 million slices of bread; 487,000 bags of salad. These shocking statistics illustrate the incredible volume of edible food the UK throws away every day. Meanwhile, food banks have increased the amount of emergency food packages sent to those in need by 13% since last year. As rising inequality and hardship affects those most in need, the UK seriously needs to address its food waste problem.
Food waste also has huge environmental implications, with at least 40% of wasted food ending up in UK landfills, where it breaks down and produces methane; a greenhouse gas 21 times more potent than carbon dioxide. At First Mile, your general waste will never go to landfill, but when it comes to food waste, incineration should be your last resort.
Here's our top 5 tips to manage your food waste:
- Don’t shop when you’re hungry. Research shows we buy more food (most of it unhealthy) if we're peckish whilst out shopping.
- Plan meals ahead or get creative with ingredients you already have. One single potato? Put it in a soup! Stale bread? Bread and butter pudding! The possibilities are endless.
- Freeze what you don’t need ASAP. Dinner today, lunch next month...Food can last up to one year in the freezer. For more help, good housekeeping has a great guide here.
- Share what you have. First Mile have partnered with food waste sharing app Olio to help connect our customers with people nearby. From a cancelled event sandwich tray to spare veg from an employee's allotment, someone out there will have it.
- Recycle your food waste. London businesses can easily recycle their food waste with First Mile. Things like banana peels, chicken bones and used teabags are broken down in an anaerobic digestion facility, producing renewable energy and nutrient rich fertilizer for local farms. Even better, it’s cheaper then general waste- so it's win win!
Slowing down climate change can feel like an insurmountable challenge but preventing food waste is one of the easiest ways to reduce your impact on the environment, so start recycling yours today.