Thursday, 12 December 2013

Nationwide Campaign To Ban Food Waste In Landfills

A national-scale campaign was launched by the government with the aim of banning food waste going into landfills by 2020, after estimates showed that this could bring in savings of over £17 billion a year, the Guardian reports.

Titled Vision 2020: UK Roadmap to Zero Food Waste to Landfill, the initiative is being backed by local councils along with food production, retail and restaurant industries.

Figures released last month showed that the average British family throws away food worth £60 every month, which translates into around 4.2 million tonnes of food waste every year. According to the figures, compiled by government advisory group Wrap, one-fifth of the food households buy is thrown away, and 60% of this could have been eaten and drank. To remedy matters, the report proposes obligatory food collection by local councils as the core measure to eliminate food waste in landfills. At the moment, only 40% of local authorities collect food separately. According to the Local Government Authority, which took part in the report, a 50% reduction in "food contamination" of recycling would bring in savings of £1 billion by 2020.

In general, the report urges all participants in the supply chain to collaborate on devising best practices on reducing food waste, making the best use of what's left of it for soil fertiliser and for power generation.

Food recycling through anaerobic digestion, for example, can make 1.3 million tonnes of fertiliser a year, or can generate more than one terawatt-hour of electricity over the same period. This power is sufficient to cover the power needs of 600,000 homes, the report says.

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