Climate Action

UK Government announces pilot scheme to reduce food waste

Today, the UK Government announced a pilot scheme to reduce food waste.

  • 01 October 2018
  • Rachel Cooper

Today, the UK Government announced a pilot scheme to reduce food waste.

The initiative, which has been given an additional £15 million in funding to tackle food waste, will focus on surplus food from the retail and manufacturing industry.

Presently, around 43,000 tonnes of surplus food is redistributed from retailers and food manufactures each year.

Dr David Moon, Head of Business Collaboration at WRAP, said: “Between 2015 and 2017 surplus food redistributed from retailers, manufacturers and hospitality and food services businesses increased by 50%, with nearly £130 million worth of food saved from waste.”

The scheme will be developed over the next couple of months, working closely with business, charities and volunteers and is set to pilot in 2019/2020.

Defra is also commissioning work to improve the evidence base around food waste to understand why food is being wasted at unprecedented amounts. This will ensure the pilot scheme can prevent future waste in the most efficient way possible.

Michael Gove, Environment Secretary, said: “Nobody wants to see good food go to waste. It harms our environment, it’s bad for business – and it’s morally indefensible. Every year, around 100,000 tonnes of readily available and perfectly edible food is never eaten. This has got to change.”

David Moon added: “Not only will this benefit people, it will also help reduce the huge environmental impact of food waste.”

This news follows the UK’s biggest food companies committing to halve food waste in the form of a Food Waste Reduction Map.