Christmas food recycling reminder issued
The Welsh and Scottish Governments have both issued a food recycling reminder in the run up to Christmas.
Wales’s Minister for Natural Resources, Carl Sargeant, highlighted that the average family in Wales throws away around £60 worth of food a month, and that the excess of Christmas can often result in more food being wasted than usual.
As such, he urged people to plan what they need to buy and eat over the Christmas period to avoid waste, and visit the Love Food, Hate Waste website for tips on using up leftovers and how best to store food before it goes bad.
He added that any unavoidable food waste, such as potato peelings, should be put out for recycling via the local food waste collection service (all local authorities in Wales provide a weekly free food waste collection service).
Lochhead said: “Food that has gone to waste doesn’t just hurt us in our pockets, but has an environmental impact as well.
“When unavoidable food waste is created, the best way to dispose of it is through your local weekly household food waste collection service. Food waste that goes in your black bin or bag ends up in landfill, and as it rots it releases methane into the atmosphere, a potent greenhouse gas with more than 21 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide.
“However, food waste collected separately by local authorities is sent to anaerobic digestion plants or in-vessel composting, where it is used to produce renewable energy.”
He added: “Welsh householders have recycled more than ever in 2014, which is a great achievement. If we are going to continue to move towards being a high recycling nation, I want to encourage everyone to recycle more than ever in 2015.”
Likewise, Scotland's Cabinet Secretary for Food, Richard Lochhead, pointed out that 1.3 million households in Scotland now have access to a food waste collection.
He said: “The festive season is an ideal time to recycle leftovers from the dinner plate. With over half of households across the country now having access to food waste recycling, more people than ever before can use their food waste service, and reduce the impact on our environment this festive season.”
Iain Gulland, Chief Executive of Zero Waste Scotland, added: "Just a few years ago, no households in Scotland had access to a food waste recycling collection, so it’s great to see that over half are now able to put their food waste to good use – with this number set to grow even more in the coming year.
“Of course the best thing we can do over the festive period, and the rest of the year, is to buy only what we need, plan our meals and make the most of leftovers. This will reduce our impact not just on the environment, but also on our bank balances.”