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Rankin: Turning the lens on the true impact of food waste

Celebrity photographer, Rankin, unveils stunning photography trail in hometown of Glasgow as COP26 gets underway. 

2 Nov 21

Glasgow-born photographer Rankin is turning his lens on food waste as part of an open air photography trial being unveiled across the city today.

As COP26 lands in Glasgow, locals and world leaders alike are invited to take in the stunning photography trail, which features alluring but alarming images created from everyday food destined for landfill. 

From Sauchiehall Street to Bell Street, the trail marks Rankin’s first exhibit in his home city since finding global fame as a renowned portrait photographer.

Known for capturing the world’s most famous faces, including The Queen,Rankin is calling on Glaswegians to snap into action and filter their food waste as they would single-use plastics.

With just one kilogram of food waste producing the same volume of deadly carbon emissions as landfilling 25,000 500ml plastic bottles, the drive aims to highlight the hidden and hugely dangerous impact food waste has on climate change. 

On unveiling the shots, Rankin said:

“I had no idea that food waste is a bigger contributor to climate change than plastic. It’s quite literally feeding an epidemic that’s killing our planet.

“It’s time we viewed food waste through the same, if not a more dangerous lens, than single-use plastics.

“Shooting the plastic bottles out of food waste is my way of bringing this misconception into focus, especially when the solution is simple - just reduce the amount of food you throw away.”

Shot in collaboration with Zero Waste Scotland, the open air photography trail is now live across Glasgow until the 19th November in the following locations:

  1. Sauchiehall Street
  2. Bath Street
  3. Wellington Street
  4. Broomielaw
  5. Bell Street

Iain Gulland, Chief Executive at Zero Waste Scotland, said:

“The sea change in attitudes to plastic over the last few years has been one of the most dramatic shifts in public consciousness around the environment we’ve ever seen. The same shift now needs to happen for food waste.

“Our research shows that most Scots think they are doing what they can for climate change, but the majority are unaware of the massive impact of food waste.

“We know people want to do their bit for the environment so our message is this – the easiest way you can fight climate change is by reducing the amount of food you waste. It’s as simple as that.”


Notes For Editors

For all media enquiries, please contact: zerowastescotland@getlux.co.uk.

Zero Waste Scotland calculated the startling figures showing the carbon impacts of food compared to plastics using its groundbreaking Carbon Metric, which was the first tool of its kind to show the impacts of waste in carbon rather than weight. The figures show that 1kg of food creates the same carbon emissions as 25,000 500ml plastic bottles when they are placed in a landfill site. Even when you take into account the entire life cycle impacts of the production, transport and energy used to produce food compared to plastic, 1kg of food has the same carbon emissions as 150 plastic bottles – that’s around 4 bags for life full.

About Zero Waste Scotland

Zero Waste Scotland exists to create a society where resources are valued and nothing is wasted. Our goal is to help Scotland realise the economic, environmental and social benefits of making best use of the world’s limited natural resources. We are funded to support delivery of the Scottish Government’s circular economy strategy and the EU Action Plan for the Circular Economy.

You can keep up to date with the latest from Zero Waste Scotland though via our social media channels - Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn

Love Food Hate Waste is the consumer-facing campaign delivered by Zero Waste Scotland to raise awareness of the need to reduce food waste and help Scots take action. More information on Love Food Hate Waste Scotland can be found at scotland.lovefoodhatewaste.com or on Facebook.

*YouGov Research

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 1004 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 28th - 30th September 2021.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all Scottish adults (aged 18+).

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