The Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) starts a £2m campaign this week that aims to encourage UK consumers to reduce the amount of food waste they create. The initiative features the strapline: “Love Food Hate Waste”.
The campaign breaks as news leaked of Government proposals to allow local authorities to trial charging householders for waste disposal based on the volume of waste. The move is in response to European Union Landfill Directive which sets targets for landfill including the reduction in the amount of biodegradable waste, which poses an environmental threat because of methane emissions.
The UK disposed of 18 million tonnes of waste in landfill in 2003 to 2004 and the EU wants this to be reduced to 6.3 million tones by 2020. If the UK misses targets it faces a fine of £180m a year.
WRAP, the not-for-profit organisation backed by funding from Department for the Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), says UK consumers throw away 6.7 billion tonnes of food a year, the bulk of which was edible at the time of disposal. WRAP chief executive Dr Liz Goodwin adds: “At a cost of £8bn a year, it’s a serious issue that not only impacts the environment but our pockets too.”
WRAP’s marketing push includes a dedicated website www.lovefoodhatewaste.com that features advice on food preparation, storage, portioning and recipes. The campaign is backed by TV chef Ainslee Hariott, while the Women’s Institute is also involved via its “Love Food Champions” initiative.