Cook, TV presenter and author Nadiya Hussain has joined environmental charity WRAP for the UK’s first national week of action to tackle household food waste and drive home the message that Wasting Food Feeds Climate Change.
Running from March 1-7, Food Waste Action Week is being delivered through WRAPs well-known Love Food Hate Waste brand to mitigate the devastating impact food waste has on the planet.
When it comes to food waste at home, UK households produce around 70 per cent of the national 9.5 million tonnes of food waste every year.
To tackle this, Love Food Hate Waste and Nadiya will ask people to take part in the Food Waste Action Week Challenge to make sure no edible food ends up in the bin.
She will spearhead a week of activities offering tips and tricks to cut waste, simply.
In total, a staggering 6.6 million tonnes of food waste comes from our homes each year in the UK, at a cost of £14 billion.
Of that, 4.5 million tonnes is food that could have been eaten, which works out to around eight meals per household each week.
This ‘edible’ element of household food waste is responsible for 14 million tonnes of Co2e alone – as much greenhouse gas produced as flying from London to Perth more than 4.5 million times.
Globally, around a third of all food produced is lost or wasted, which contributes between 8-10 per cent of total greenhouse gas emissions.
Nadiya said: “Being at home more this last year has given many of us – including myself – an opportunity to reassess our relationship with cooking.
“Most of us don’t realise it, but wasting food is a major contributor to climate change.
“And it isn’t just the leftovers on our plate to consider but the many resources that go into producing our food, like water and land.
“If we each make small changes we’d dramatically reduce the amount of food that ends up in the bin, and really can make a difference.
“From avoiding buying or preparing too much to storing food correctly, Food Waste Action Week is about helping people make the most of their food, and through our actions help protect our planet.”
Public awareness of the impact of food waste has on climate change is less common than other environmental factors.
Recent WRAP research found that whilst 81 per cent of people in the UK are concerned about climate change, less than a third (32 per cent) see a clear link between it and
This compares with over half who make the link with aviation and climate change.
In fact, global food waste produces more greenhouse gas emissions than all commercial flights.
However, according to 2020 WRAP research on the UK’s food habits during lockdown, being confined to our homes has resulted in an increase in behaviours such as batch cooking and meal planning, which help tackle food waste.
But the latest insights suggest that food waste levels are likely to rise again as we emerge from lockdown.
Food Waste Action Week aims to empower people to make simple changes in how they manage their food to avoid it being wasted.
Marcus Gover, CEO WRAP, said: “Climate change is happening now and is the greatest threat to our planet, and our future generations.
“We must act fast. Wasting food has a huge contribution to global emissions but is often overlooked or ignored.
“We are so used to wasting food that we’ve forgotten its value, and the cost that feeding our growing global population has on the natural world.
“Food Waste Action Week is about empowering everyone to act because, like it or not, we in our homes are the most significant part of the problem.
“So, it’s down to us all to be part of the solution too, and this is one environmental issue that we can all tackle, and with minimum effort.”