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Food waste - can you help?

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  • Food waste - can you help?

    Food waste in the UK totals 10.2 million tonnes per year. Food manufacture and retail accounts for approximately one fifth of total food waste, with the remainder coming from the hospitality sector and households. Currently only around 30% of surplus food, which is edible and accessible, is redistributed from retailers and food manufacturers, with the remaining 70% being wasted - equating to two hundred and fifty million meals a year!

    This month the government introduced a multi-million-pound funding scheme to help redistribution organisations to reduce avoidable food waste, and its Resource and Waste Strategy also includes the introduction of annual reporting of food surplus and waste by food businesses. In addition to government efforts to reduce food waste, a number of innovative food-tech solutions have been developed to tackle the problem, including food redistribution apps and sustainable packaging alternatives. Skipping Rocks Lab, a London-based start-up, has designed a sustainable flexible packaging for liquids, Ooho!, creating a plastic-free and natural alternative to plastic cups, bottles and sachets.

    Food-tech innovation is a key player in the battle against food waste - could you help? Do you have an idea that: Extends the shelf life of fresh foods? Re-uses surplus food produce? Improves the sustainability of food packaging? Re-distributes produce to those who would use it? Educates people to help reduce avoidable food waste? Whether it’s a food redistribution app, an alternative packaging solution, or an innovate idea that keeps food fresh for longer, could your innovation help to redistribute surplus food or, better still, reduce the level of surplus in the first place?

    Let us know your ideas below!