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Scottish Government and Zero Waste Scotland reveal new plans to tackle food waste

The Scottish Government launch new Action Plan and campaign to encourage the nation to reduce and recycle food waste to help tackle climate change.

24 Apr 19

The Scottish Government and Zero Waste Scotland have unveiled ambitious plans today to help reduce Scotland’s food waste by one third by 2025 - that’s 297,000 tonnes of food waste a year - with the new Food Waste Reduction Action Plan (FWRAP).

Each year, nearly £1.1 billion of food is thrown away in Scotland. The Plan highlights the need for a collaborative effort across all sectors to tackle food waste and sets out actions to deliver on Scotland’s target.

The Scottish Government’s new campaign, ‘Food Gone Bad’, showcases easy steps people can take to reduce their food waste and recycle unavoidable food waste – like banana skins, egg shells and coffee grounds.

Over 80% of Scottish households have access to food recycling facilities but only 55% say they are recycling their food waste. The 600,000 tonnes of food binned nationwide each year in Scotland can be reduced to combat climate change or recycled to produce green energy.

Food waste thrown in general household bins and taken to landfill rots and produces destructive greenhouse gases like methane, which is much more damaging to the environment than carbon dioxide, driving climate change

When food waste is recycled properly, it can become a valuable asset. If taken to an Anaerobic Digestion facility, it can be converted into green energy that could go back into the national grid and help power the nation – transforming it from enemy to energy.

Zero Waste Scotland has revealed that just one household’s weekly food waste could be enough to power 35 episodes of Games of Thrones on a TV – that’s the entire new Season 8 more than four times – with enough energy left to go back and watch all the cliff-hangers more than once! They also revealed that only one piece of food waste like a banana peel could charge a mobile phone, twice.

Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said: “Food Waste is a global issue with an estimated 1.3billion tonnes wasted every year. Whilst some food waste is unavoidable, it is important that the people of Scotland understand how they can make a positive impact on their environment by reducing and recycling unpreventable food waste.

“The Food Waste Reduction Action Plan advises households and businesses on the simple steps we can all take to reduce food waste, while the new food waste campaign drives home the message that unavoidable food waste should be recycled.

“I want everyone to be empowered by the message that a behaviour change as simple as choosing to recycle unavoidable food waste can convert it from being extremely harmful to the environment to something that becomes a benefit, from green electricity that can be fed back into the national grid to good quality fertiliser that will help crops to grow.”

CEO of Zero Waste Scotland, Iain Gulland said: “Reducing Scotland’s food waste by a third would benefit the environment as much as taking almost one in every five cars off the road.

Everyone can play a part in reducing Scotland’s food waste. Scotland’s ambitious and pioneering approach to tackling food waste will help experts and leaders address this global problem. We want to make people aware of the real damage food waste is doing so they can make an informed choice to help reduce and recycle their food and fight climate change.”

Food Waste in Scotland is recycled with local food waste collections. Food caddies are provided by local councils which are collected and transported to anaerobic digestion facilities. These facilities use microorganisms to break down food waste. As it breaks down it gives off methane gas, this is collected and converted into biogas and used to generate electricity, heat or transport fuels.

For tips on reducing and recycling food waste, visit greenerscotland.org.

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