Scots urged to enjoy Easter feasts without the food waste

Families across Scotland are being urged to follow a few simple steps to help avoid festive food ending up in the bin this Easter. Research shows that around 4000 tonnes of food will be wasted over the course of the four-day bank holiday weekend, the equivalent weight of over 10 million Easter eggs*. 

18 Apr 14

The Love Food Hate Waste campaign, delivered in Scotland by Zero Waste Scotland, is calling on householders to keep in mind a few top tips to help keep Easter food waste to a minimum. The main reasons food ends up in the bin is because we buy too much, cook too much or don’t store food correctly, and often don’t think to get creative with leftovers and freeze things.  The Easter period can be an especially tricky time to manage food effectively, with children on school holidays, visitors popping in unexpectedly and better weather prompting the first barbeques of the year.

Love Food Hate Waste’s Scottish spokesperson Ylva Haglund commented: “If you’re planning get-togethers over the bank holiday weekend with family or friends, food inevitably plays a part in that, and so it’s a good time to think about ways to make sure you’re not wasting money and good food by being caught out by some of the common food waste pitfalls.

“Our key tips for avoiding food waste are to check your cupboards before a big shop to see what needs using up, plan your shop so you only buy what you need, measure portions so you don’t cook too much, freeze leftovers for later or turn them into another great meal the next day. Always remember to recycle unavoidable food waste if you have access to a food waste collection, or compost it.”

Food waste is a major issue, with over 380,000 tonnes of food being thrown away in Scotland each year that could have been avoided. Over £1 billion worth of food is thrown away by Scottish households each year, and the average family in Scotland could save over £470 a year by cutting food waste.

The Love Food Hate Waste website has loads of great hints and tips to help reduce household food waste. It has recipes and advice on portioning and storage to help food go further. Love Food Hate Waste’s top tips for Easter are:

  • If you need to freeze leftover lamb or other meat, let it cool before you freeze it, cut it up into smaller pieces so they’ll defrost quickly, and seal well in a plastic freezer bag with the date written on – they will keep for up to a month and will taste great in a stir fry. Try our roast lamb salad on a potato cake for something different.
  • Bubble & squeak can be made up of many tasty leftovers: don’t worry about what you throw in the pan (leftover vegetables, potatoes) as long as you chop a little onion into the pan first – it’ll make a great weeknight dinner. Don’t forget, store onions in a dark cool place and they’ll last for longer.
  • Multibuys and discounted foods can be good value, as long as you plan how to use the extra food.  Have a think about what holiday meals you could cook with the items, and whether some of it could be frozen for later.
  • If you buy a load of eggs to make some Easter cakes don’t forget to put the ones which need using up first at the front. Leftover eggs can easily be whipped up into omelettes with a bit of grated cheese from your freezer. Serve with some greens for a tasty, nutritious dinner.
  • To freeze sliced up cake put greaseproof paper between each slice allowing you to remove a few slices at a time rather than thaw the whole cake.
  • To freshen up a day old loaf, hold it very briefly under a running cold tap. Give it a good shake and pop in a hot oven for about 10 minutes; it will be as soft and crusty as freshly baked bread.
  • Whether you’re cooking for a crowd or just for two, check out the Love Food Hate Waste portion calculator. It will help you cook just what you need.

Find out more about how to avoid food waste at and

*Calculated as follows: 380,000 tonnes of avoidable food waste from Scottish households per year, equals 1041 tonnes a day, times 4 days across bank holiday weekend equals 4164 tonnes. Taking average weight of Easter egg as 400g, this equals 10,410,959 Easter eggs.

For more information contact:

Andrew Pankhurst

PR Manager

Zero Waste Scotland

07702 976 601

Notes For Editors

• The Love Food Hate Waste campaign is delivered in Scotland by Zero Waste Scotland.

• Zero Waste Scotland works to maximise the efficient use of some of Scotland’s most valuable resources – materials, energy and water – to achieve economic and environmental benefits.

• Zero Waste Scotland is funded by the Scottish Government to support the delivery of its Zero Waste Plan.

• More information on all Zero Waste Scotland’s programmes can be found at:

Key food waste facts:

• In Scotland, we throw away one fifth of the food we buy every year. 

• Food waste is bad for the environment and it’s expensive. Avoidable food waste costs Scotland over £1billion a year. 

• Every year in Scotland we throw away 630,000 tonnes of food and drink, 380,000 tonnes of which could have been avoided. 

• We all waste food without thinking. Most of this is food and drink waste - two thirds of it could have been used. 

• Avoiding food waste in the first place is ten times better for the environment than any food recycling method. 

• By making a few small changes and reducing the food you throw away, you could save an average of £470 a year – that’s nearly £40 a month. 

• Recycle the food that you can’t use to help reduce the amount of food that ends up in landfill - it’ll help cut greenhouse gases. 

• If you do have food waste, don’t throw it in the bin. Recycle it by using a food waste collection service or compost it. 

• Wasting food is bad for the environment. Most of the food that we throw away ends up in landfill sites where it rots and produces methane, a harmful greenhouse gas. 

• Greenhouse gases like methane and carbon dioxide contribute to climate change, and methane is around 25 times more damaging to the environment than carbon dioxide. The food waste we generate produces the equivalent of 1.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide each year. 

• If we used up all the food and drink we currently waste, it would cut carbon emissions equal to taking one car in four off Scotland’s roads .

• When we throw away food, it’s not the only thing we waste. We also waste the energy, fuel, water and time that it took to grow, harvest, store, transport and cook the food. 

• Over one million households in Scotland now have access to a food waste collection service. This equates to almost half of households in Scotland. To find out about food waste collection services in your area go to

• Food waste collected from households is transported to an anaerobic digestion or composting facility. The anaerobic digestion process generates green energy, heat and environmentally friendly fertiliser products which can be used by Scotland’s farmers. 

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