Orkney Food Waste Prevention Week

1.4 million tonnes of food is wasted in Scotland every year. Across all the 28 countries of the EU it is currently at  89 million tonnes a year.

This staggering amount is preventable. Resource Efficient Scotland is working with Orkney Islands Council, Orkney Zero Waste and Orkney Food and Drink to help businesses in Orkney reduce food waste.

Orkney Food Waste Prevention Week will take place from 22nd-26th Jan 2018.

Helen Armet  has been publishing her tried and tested recipes in the Orkney News. Helen’s recipes are not only healthy but can be produced on a tight budget, they reduce waste, they are tasty and healthy. You can find them all in our recipe section.

Food waste is caused in the home when we buy too much for instance ‘buy one get one free’ and then don’t use it all or when we throw out ‘sell buy’ items even though they are perfectly usable. According to Greener Scotland  the foods we frequently waste are: fresh fruit and vegetables (including salad), drinks, and bakery products, like bread.

GS-PieChart-430x450v2 Food waste

Top five foods we waste by weight (Greener Scotland)

“Every year 380,000 tonnes of food and drink are thrown away which didn’t have to be – this costs the Scottish public over £1bn every year. “

“Some of the food that we put in our household bins never even makes it out of the packet. Food thrown out whole or unopened costs the average household over £128 a year.”

World wide we in the industrialized countries waste almost as much food as the entire net food production of sub-Saharan Africa (222 million vs. 230 million tons) a year.

How have we got to the stage where we are throwing away so much food?

Good advice is available from Zero Waste Scotland and it is all so sensible that it is rather absurd we are at the stage where we have to be told to:

  • plan our shopping
  • buy only what we need
  • have a range of store cupboard basics which can be used with leftovers

The week long event in Orkney will help businesses to reduce their food waste and in so doing increase their profits. It will also provide training.

There are several events planned throughout the week. Visit the website to book a place.

food wasteWATCH:  Helping Scottish employees cut food waste and save money





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  1. The policy in the Bell household is…if it looks alright, smells alright, and doesn’t have mould on it – it’ll do. And we’re not dead yet!
    When I was a student, on a grant ( those were the days!) and had very little money, I used to make a list of what I’d eat for the week – a menu. This meant that the ingredients for the meals would over-lap and there’d be hardly any waste. I knew what everything I bought, cost in the Co-op, so….I could make my list, add up what it would cost, and know that any money I had left was for ME. I kept this up until a few years ago, when circumstances changed. I was asked wasn’t this limiting, and a bit dull – no, because if I really didn’t feel like having what was on the list, there would still be the ingredients there, to make something else.
    It means that you can shop on a tight budget, and you don’t waste food, or money, or time, traipsing round a shop.
    A curry is always a good option – you can bung anything into it – or a pie.

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