Council backs international drive to cut food waste with ‘Waste Free Lunches’

The Highland Council is calling on residents in the area to cook up a storm to tackle food waste this week, by having ‘Waste Free Lunches’ as part of European Week for Waste Reduction (22 to 30 November).  

European Week for Waste Reduction is the biggest waste campaign of its kind in the world with countries from all over Europe taking part, and is co-ordinated in Scotland by Zero Waste Scotland.  The theme for this year’s campaign is cutting food waste, and Zero Waste Scotland is calling on people across Scotland to get involved and hold a waste free lunch in offices, schools and in local communities.  Avoidable food waste costs Scotland £1.1billion a year. One fifth of the food we buy every year ends up being thrown away. This is the equivalent of a family of four having another mouth to feed and costs the average household £470 per year.  

During the week the Council’s Waste Awareness Team will be visiting schools and talking to pupils about food waste and attending waste free lunchtimes organised by schools. They are also putting up posters and displays in libraries, service points and community centres. The Team also attended the Food Fair in Inverness on Saturday.  

Chair of The Highland Council’s Community Services Committee, Councillor Graham MacKenzie said: “Reducing food waste in really important as it has a huge impact on the environment, and it’s also a huge waste of money. Holding a Waste Free Lunch is a great way to show people that there’s loads that you can do with leftovers and food that’s nearing its use by date that can stop it ending up in the bin, and that the results can be delicious.”  

Iain Gulland, director of Zero Waste Scotland said: “Food waste is a huge issue in Scotland. It’s a huge drain on tight family budgets and sending it to landfill releases extremely harmful greenhouse gases. But there are some really easy ways to cut down on the amount we waste. Simple steps like checking cupboards before a big shop and making a list to ensure you only buy what you need play a huge part, as does keeping an eye on portion sizes and using up or freezing leftovers.”  

The Love Food Hate Waste website has a huge range of tools to help cut food waste, including portion calculators, meal planners and hundreds of recipes tailor-made for using the most commonly wasted foods. Head to for more information.

For advice on reducing food waste,at home or in your business, or if you would like advice on organising a food waste reduction event call 01349 886603 or email  



24 Nov 2014
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