Photographer 'Rankin', holding a camera in front of a bottle shape made from food waste

Rankin: Turning the Lens on the True Impact of Food Waste

01 Nov 21 2 minutes

With 86% of Scots unaware that food waste can be an even bigger contributor to climate change than plastic waste, we’re joining forces with world-renowned photographer Rankin, to capture a photo series that raises awareness of the hidden carbon cost of food waste.

To mark COP26 coming to Glasgow, Scottish-born Rankin – usually known for snapping celebrities and VIPs – has produced five striking shots that encourage individuals to think about food waste the same way they think about single-use plastics.

The finished work will be on show in and around Glasgow city centre over the course of the conference.

Food waste vs. plastic waste

While everybody is aware of the environmental impact of single-use plastics, it seems that when it comes to food waste, Scots are still in the dark. But the statistics can be quite shocking.

In fact, sending just 1kg of food waste to landfill produces the same carbon emissions as landfilling a staggering 25,000 500ml plastic bottles. Even when you consider the entire life cycle impacts of the production, transport and energy used to produce food compared to plastic, 1kg of food waste has the same carbon emissions as 150 plastic bottles (around four bags for life full).

A visual representation

We wanted to do something to raise awareness of the issue of food waste while helping us all better understand the problem and approached Rankin to create a photo series to do just that. We were delighted when he agreed to get involved!

By taking the instantly recognisable silhouette of a plastic bottle and filling it with wasted food, Rankin's photographs highlight that we need to start thinking about food waste in the same way as we do single-use plastics.

We need to start thinking about food waste in the same way as we do single-use plastics. #FoodWasteVsPlastic

The Rankin Trail

The photo trail was live in Glasgow city centre in November 2021, with Rankin’s iconic images displayed in the following locations: 

  1. Sauchiehall Street

  2. Bath Street

  3. Wellington Street

  4. Broomielaw

  5. Bell Street

A map of Glasgow, showing the locations of the Rankin trail

Join the fight against food waste

If you’ve been inspired to start reducing your food waste at home, then we’ve got you covered - check out the articles below for ideas on shopping savvy, getting familiar with your fridge and making good use of your freezer.

Follow @LoveFoodHateWasteScotland on social media for more tips and recipes direct to your newsfeed.

If you spot Rankin’s photo trail in Glasgow, snap a picture and share online using #FoodWasteVsPlastic.