Shoppers encouraged to ‘Freeze It’ to reduce waste
As part of European Week for Waste Reduction (21 to 29 November), The Highland Council’s Waste Awareness Team have been out and about with their ‘Big Freeze’ campaign.
On Saturday (21 November) the Waste Awareness Team, along with RoWAN (Ross-shire Waste Action Network), were in The Eastgate Centre, Inverness giving top tips to shoppers on how to reduce food waste by making better use of their freezers!
The Waste Awareness Team were also at Tesco in Dingwall last Thursday (19 November) and will be in Morrisons in Fort William on Wednesday 25 November along with LEG (Lochaber Environmental Group).
Tesco, Dingwall: (left to right) Rosanna Zywietz and Andrea Wotherspoon from Highland Council Waste Awareness Team
European Week for Waste Reduction, the biggest waste campaign of its kind in the world with countries from all over Europe taking part, is co-ordinated in Scotland by Zero Waste Scotland. The theme for this year’s campaign is cutting food waste - and in particular how freezing excess/leftover food can help. 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.
Over the past fortnight third year Home Economics pupils at Golspie High School have also been exploring the sniffy issue of waste with their teacher, Anna Metzler-Murray and Andrea Wotherspoon from the Waste Awareness Team. The pupils carried out a waste audit then designed posters to put up around the school to help reduce waste of the 3 main items found: plastic bottles (the pupils calculated that they presently send 22,000 plastic bottles to landfill every year), paper towels and food. They also looked at ways of reducing food waste, such as freezing left overs.
Imogen Percy-Bell, Waste Management Officer (Awareness Raising) for The Highland Council said: “Promoting the reduction of food waste is a really important part of the work of our team as it has a huge impact on the environment, and it’s also a huge waste of money.
“The Big Freeze Campaign is a great way to show people that there’s loads that you can do with leftovers and food that can stop it ending up in the bin, and that the results can be delicious. You can freeze pretty much everything – even cheese, onions, tomatoes and eggs! The freezer acts like a pause button on food and so you can freeze it right up to the use-by date.”
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 http://www.lovefoodhatewaste.com/ for more information.