How Can We Further Improve Our Food Waste Management?

Assorted Plastic Bottles
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How Can We Further Improve Our Food Waste Management?

'Waste not, want not'. (Proverbial saying first recorded in 1772).

I was quite stunned recently when I saw the info-graphic at the bottom of this page and saw that one third of the total global food production is lost annually. Here in the UK we certainly contribute our fair share to this statistic; A recent survey conducted by BPI Consumer Packaging found that 20% of respondents would be more likely to throw away food once it has reached its 'Sell by' date' and that the UK throws away 7 million tonnes of food and drink every year. This costs the average household £470 so while I actually believe the issue of waste management and recycling is fairly well understood in this country, there clearly remains a genuine need to further reduce our levels of waste.

The recent survey also found that 80% of respondents recycle 'all of the time', and although that seems quite a high figure I can believe it. I think the government's scheme of introducing different coloured bins and waste disposal boxes has really had a positive effect in helping to decrease the levels of general household waste here in the UK. In terms of the actual packaging of food, it really is one of life's little annoyances (e.g. when you buy a packet of crisps for instance and ravenously open the bag only to find about 7 crisps filling the bottom third of the bag and the rest of the bag is empty?). I really dislike the practice of excess packaging (which let's face it is a dishonest method of enticing people to buy a particular item). Despite the issue of waste management definitely being in the public consciousness it seems to me that more could be done in order to cut down on the amount of packaging used by various businesses and large scale manufacturers.

I do think we have made a lot of progress with regard to green issues in general in recent years and to food waste treatment and recycling specifically but with the political topography being as it has in recent years, I feel like certain 'green' issues are being slightly overlooked or put on the back burner so to speak. That said, I am encouraged by the fact so many people are recycling their food waste, and lets hope this attitude continues to permeate through into other areas of our waste management.

There are so many good people who are helping to reduce the impact of human waste on the environment, from people combing beaches and collecting plastic bottles and packaging to divers removing plastic by the handful from beneath the sea. It begs the question what do you think could be done to further decrease our level of food waste and waste in general? 

*Written by Michael David

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