University joining the drive to reduce food waste

Swansea University is giving its backing to the UK’s first ever Food Waste Action Week.

The week, which launches today, will link organisations across the food supply chain and beyond to stop food going to waste and curb the contribution this makes towards climate change.

Organised by WRAP, the UK’s leading sustainability charity, the week of action will promote the simple message “wasting food feeds climate change”.

In total, 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.

Swansea University produced 92 tonnes of food waste during 2019/20 academic period with 27 tonnes of this generated by halls of residence and Hendrefoelan Student Village.

All of this food waste is collected weekly by Veolia and then processed by anaerobic digestion into a bio-gas, and bio-fertiliser.

Swansea University’s Head of Sustainability Dr Heidi Smith said: “Minimising the amount of waste that we produce is a vital part of our Sustainability and Climate Emergency Strategy.

“We set ourselves tough waste management targets because we always want to improve how we are doing while encouraging our staff and students to help make a difference too.

“We all have a part to play in this and stop food that could have been eaten ending up in the bin.”

The University has a range of recycling resources across the campuses to make sure everybody disposes of their waste, including food waste, correctly and efficiently.

Waste and Recycling Officer Fiona Wheatley added: “We understand the need to engage with our students and staff to raise awareness of the importance of reducing food waste and sharing the impact that wasting food has on the wider global environment.

“That is why we will be supporting Food Waste Action Week by using our many interactive digital media platforms to communicate the core messages of the campaign to students and staff across our community to ensure positive change.”

Throughout the week, the organisers will be asking the public to rise to the challenge of trying to reduce their own household food waste to as close to zero as possible.

To support them, WRAP and partners will be sharing simple food management tips and techniques and each day of the week will have its own special theme – from food storage and portion planning to creative ways to use up food, and practical steps such as setting your fridge temperature correctly.

Marcus Gover, CEO of WRAP, said: “Wasting food is a major cause of climate change – it generates more greenhouse gas emissions than all the commercial flights in the world. We know through our research that the climate change emergency matters to people so this is something we can – and must – act on together. It is time to focus on saving one of our most precious resources instead of generating greenhouse gases producing food that is never eaten.

"I’m delighted to be launching the first UK Food Waste Action Week. Together we will inspire real and lasting change.”

Find out more about Food Waste Action Week and how you can get involved


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