Food waste continues to be a major global problem and a significant financial burden on the food industry, costing UK food businesses and hospitality around £2.5 billion annually. According to a report, about one-third of all food produced for human consumption is wasted, with a value of around £750 billion, which is enough to feed 3 billion people. Food waste occurs at every stage of the food supply chain, from production to processing, retail, storage, preparation, and consumption.
With Stop Food Waste Day, observed on April 26th, we aim to tackle this problem by halving food waste by 2030. This article aims to answer some questions around food waste.
Why is food waste a big problem?
Food waste and food loss refer to any food that is wasted, lost, or uneaten. Poor stock management, economic behavior, or neglect are the main reasons for food waste. The production of wasted food globally uses enough water to meet the needs of nine billion people. Food waste is a significant contributor to climate change and an expensive issue for businesses, impacting their bottom line.
How to prevent food waste
The hospitality and food service sector is one of the biggest generators of food waste. Here are some steps that businesses can take to address the issue:
- Keep track of food inventory and when it needs to be used.
- Plan how to use up the food in stock to avoid over-purchasing and stockpiling.
- Organize the storage systems to make food that needs to be used up more visible and accessible.
- Review portion sizes to avoid leftovers or offer customers a choice.
- Be mindful of the amount of food that ends up in the bin during food preparation.
Businesses can also recycle food waste such as meat, fish, dairy, eggs, fruit, vegetables, bread, flowers, coffee grounds, and tea bags. However, some coffee pods and plastic tea bags cannot be composted and should be discarded through general waste.
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- Food waste guide
- How we worked with AOK Kitchen in Marylebone to supply environmentally friendly waste management solutions.
How can businesses dispose of food waste?
Disposing of food waste is regulated by requirements such as the Animal By-Product Regulations. The regulations make it a legal requirement to separate raw meat, fish, and poultry waste when thrown away. Furthermore, food waste must not be presented in bags on the street. Businesses should keep food waste separate from other waste types to avoid contamination, which would spoil the rest of a recycling load, making recycling and waste management inefficient.
Business food waste recycling in Westminster
Reducing food waste is a joint responsibility of businesses, individuals, and government. We all have a role to play in reducing food waste and achieving the goal of halving food waste by 2030. Businesses must take a proactive approach to managing food waste by adopting measures such as planning, inventory management, and efficient waste management. By doing so, businesses can cut costs, reduce their environmental footprint, and contribute to building a sustainable future.
If you need help with food waste management and recycling, get in touch. If you would like to read more about our food waste collection service, download the leaflet by clicking on the image below.