UK’s massive food waste problem to be tackled

Date 4.10.2017

Every year the UK throws away 10 million tonnes of food – most heading for landfill, and ten times the amount sent for recycling. In response to this growing problem, the University has brought to together a range of front-line experts to share ideas and experiences from their own food waste battles.

The one-day conference, Sustainable Management of Food Waste, will explore the sustainable management of food waste in the healthcare, retail, and hospitality sectors

Organiser Dr Terry Tudor said: “Food waste poses a significant financial and environmental cost, both in the UK and globally.

“This conference will present perspectives from a range of sectors, on how best to collectively overcome some of the challenges faced, and in so doing either prevent the waste from occurring, or recover value from that produced.”

Kicking off proceedings, The Food Waste Recycling Action Plan – led by the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) – is the recycling industry’s collective response to overcoming the barriers to widespread recycling of food waste.

Delegates will then hear from the Executive Officer of the Northamptonshire Waste Partnership on how the councils in the county manage and make best use of the food waste generated by householders. These include measures to reduce food waste, the food waste collection services, and the government funded food waste incentive scheme.

Supermarket chain Co-Op will outline how it is improving the sustainable management of its food and packaging, including developing a multi-layer film that will enable polyethene lined packaging trays to be more easily recycled.

There will also be presentations on initiatives to improve the quality and provision of food within the health and social care sector.

Delegates will have the opportunity to hear perspectives from two NHS organisations, Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust on their efforts to ensure that patients have a range of meals which are nutritionally balanced, and that any waste is sustainably managed.

Technological innovations to reduce waste and recover value along the food chain will also be discussed by speakers from Severn Trent Water, Carbon Clarity and Loughborough University.

Finally, Elsie’s Café, part of the UK-wide Real Junk Food Project will outline its community-based ‘pay-as-your-feel’ initiatives to reduce food waste within the community – as well as providing lunches for the event.

Organised by the University’s Healthcare Waste and Resources Research Group, Sustainable Management of Food Waste: Challenges and Opportunities is being held on Thursday 5 October at Sixfields Stadium, Northampton.