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Collaborative project aims to reduce Scotland’s food waste

A new food waste reduction project has been launched by Zero Waste Scotland (ZWS) across Dundee, Angus and Fife as part of a regional collaboration aimed at meeting the Scottish Government’s goal of reducing food waste by 33 per cent by 2025.

ZWS, which works to maximise resource efficiency and reduce waste in Scotland, launched the two-year scheme yesterday (26 March) at the Tayberry Restaurant in Dundee. The scheme will see a regional food waste officer working with small and micro businesses, schools, colleges, universities and community groups in order to meet targets set by the Scottish Government.

The launch was backed by local authorities, the Dundee and Angus Chamber of Commerce and numerous local businesses and looks to build on Scotland’s drive to reduce food waste.

Award-winning chef Adam Newth gave his backing to the service, saying: “We already embrace a zero waste ethos at the Tayberry and Castlehill restaurants. Even items that people would consider unavoidable waste get used – bones for stock, vegetable peelings for canapes, and so on. So, it makes perfect sense for me to show support for a project like this. I think it is an exciting opportunity for this region to show its leadership in environmental sustainability in hospitality.”

Iain Clunie, food and drink spokesperson at ZWS, added: “Wasted food is not only a waste of money, it’s also a major contributor to climate change. That’s because when we waste food, we also waste all the energy and resources that went into producing it and getting it to our table. On top of this, if food waste then ends up in landfill, it will generate even more emissions in the form of methane gas, many times more harmful than carbon dioxide.

“There is so much going on in and around Dundee, Angus and Fife at the moment. Successfully reducing food waste would be another feather in the region’s cap and would address a hugely important factor in helping to preserve our environment.”

Food waste has been in the crosshairs of the Scottish Government since it launched its circular economy strategy, ‘Making things last’, in 2015, which aimed to cut food waste by a third by 2025 and increase circularity in the beer, whisky and fish sectors to save more than half a billion pounds annually. On top of this, last year’s Scottish Resources Conference run by ZWS placed food waste at the heart of the agenda after revealing that food waste is the worst offender for carbon emissions of all waste streams.

The collection of food waste – and organics waste more widely – has been at the heart of Scotland’s push to increase recycling rates, with an increase of 20.4 per cent in the amount of organic waste recycled in composting or anaerobic digestion facilities between 2015 and 2016.

The increase coincides with a requirement introduced by the Scottish Government as part of the Waste (Scotland) Regulations 2012 for all local authorities to provide food waste collections in non-rural areas by 2016. In addition, businesses producing more than 50 kilogrammes of food waste a week have been required to separate that food waste for collection since 2014, while those producing more than five kilogrammes have been obligated to do likewise since 2016.

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