Revealed: UK progress towards zero food waste to landfill (according to a new report from a recycling firm)

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Food waste recycling specialist ReFood released a new report on 3 July, which aims to details the UK’s progress in eliminating food waste from landfill.

New Food Waste Horizons was unveiled at the UK AD and World Biogas Expo (3-4 July 2019), and examines the progress made in six years (this is also the time since ReFood released its own attempt at outlining a manifesto for improvements in the sector, Vision 2020). Bringing together the latest data, best practice and innovation to reduce, re-use and recycle food waste in all areas of the supply chain, New Food Waste Horizons seemingly celebrates successes, outlines areas for improvement and highlights the challenges that remain.

Stakeholders that made valuable contributions to the reports include Lord Deben, the Renewable Energy Association, National Farmers Union, British Retail Consortium and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.

Commenting on the report, Philip Simpson, commercial director at ReFood, said: “While across the board there have been both challenges and successes, the overall picture is extremely positive. As a nation, we still have a long way to go, but zero waste to landfill is becoming ever-more achievable.

“We have seen the positive impact that technology is having on minimising waste across the supply chain, as well as creating opportunities to share and redistribute unwanted food and re-use or recycle food waste in innovative and exciting ways.

“The commercial, environmental and societal benefits of tackling food waste have gained significant traction over the past few years and it is exciting to see what can be achieved. Challenges remain, not least the lack of consistency in food waste collections at local authority level, but the government’s Waste and Resources Strategy has the potential to provide a perfectly workable policy framework.

“Ultimately, responsibility lies with all of us, with businesses, with government, with local authorities, educators and consumers. We can all play our part, whether by preventing food waste in the home, asking for doggy bags in a restaurant, donating surplus food, or simply taking every opportunity to reduce, re-use and recycle wherever possible. The benefits of tackling food waste, as this report shows, have been well-documented and we hope the latest chapter will inspire new initiatives in the future.”

Published in 2013, ReFood’s Vision 2020 manifesto attempted to provide a comprehensive roadmap to eradicate food waste from landfill. Almost 800 organisations – from universities to Michelin-starred restaurants – have since signed up to support the Vision’s ambition.

Chaired by Lord Deben, the Vision 2020 panel, coordinated by ReFood, comprised influential representatives from the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP), the Chartered Institute of Waste Management (CIWM), the Institute of Hospitality (IoH), the Local Authority Recycling Action Committee (LARAC), London Thames Gateway Development Partnership, Unilever, and The Food Chain and Biomass Renewables Association (Fabra).

Simpson concluded: “I believe that celebrating success and progress is hugely important. New Food Waste Horizons does just this, while also re-aligning our path towards achieving a zero food waste future.”

To download your copy of New Food Waste Horizons, visit www.vision2020.info. For more information about ReFood, or its food waste collection and recycling services, visit www.refood.co.uk.