Reducing Food Waste By One Third

The Scottish Government has published a range of measures to reduce waste and landfill. The new measures are part of the updated Climate Change Plan and brings the date forward for some of the targets to 2025.

It includes:

  • charging for single use drinks containers
  • restricting single use plastic
  • increasing the charge for carrier bag use from a minimum of 5p to 10p
  • a £70 million fund to improve local authority recycling collection infrastructure

There will also be a consultation on electronic waste.

Food Waste

Food waste continues to be a problem and the Scottish Government will consult on a mandatory national food waste reduction target and the mandatory reporting of Scotland’s food surplus and waste by food businesses.

According to ZeroWaste Scotland :

In 2013, an estimated 987,890 tonnes of food and drink in Scotland was wasted with the breakdown as follows:

  • Household (solid and liquid waste) – 598,946 tonnes (60.6%)
  • Food and drink manufacturing – 248,230 tonnes (25.1%)
  • Other sectors – 140,714 tonnes (14.2%)

According to that survey 60% of that food waste was ‘avoidable’ and accounts for ‘1.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2 eq) emissions. ‘

There have been a few limited initiatives to cut down on food waste. The OLIO app is a food sharing platform that is an attempt to cut down on food that gets thrown out when it is still perfectly safe to use.

Supermarkets like Lidl also have trays of food that is still usable but that they can no longer sell and most of the big shops have reduced items when they are nearing their sell by date.

Roseanna Cunningham,Environment and Climate Change Secretary in the Scottish Government, said:

“By taking simple steps, such as cutting down on food waste or choosing reusable rather than single use, individuals as well as manufacturers and companies, can all do our bit to move away from Scotland’s throwaway culture, help reduce our contribution to climate change and build a more circular economy.”

In line with the EU Commission’s Circular Economy Package, a consultation will look at requirements to separately collect garden waste by 2023 and textiles and hazardous elements of household waste by 2025.

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