Recycling food waste for energy and agriculture would save £17 billion a year, avoid the emission of 27 million tonnes of greenhouse gases and power 60,000 homes, a new study claims.
The campaign Vision 2020 looks at banning food waste from landfill by 2020 to use it to create energy – for instance through anaerobic digestion – and support agriculture.
The initiative was promoted by the government, food manufacturers, recycling firms and retailers. It wants to see a ban on food waste in landfill so that people are more likely to recycle. Another suggestion is to establish compulsory door-to-door food waste collection by local councils.
According to the study, if food waste is retrieved, it can be used to power thousands of homes, save billions of pounds every year and reduce the amount of greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere.
Philip Simpson, commercial director at recycling firm ReFood, which is leading the campaign said, “Food waste is a valuable resource that should never end up in landfill sites.
“Everyone from the food producer, through to the retailer, the restaurant and the householder can play their part in ensuring that we take full advantage of its considerable potential by ensuring we re-use, recycle and recover every nutrient and kilowatt of energy it has to offer.”
Recent figures revealed that although food waste has decreased in the UK, householders are still throwing away the equivalent of six meals per week or £60 per month.
Another study by the UK’s Global Food Security (GFS) showed that up to 40% of edible food may be refused by shops because it doesn’t satisfy aesthetic criteria.