Zooming in on food waste


Every year in the UK, we create 15 million tonnes of food waste,and despite mutterings from the previous administration of the European Commission and the current incarnation of Labour, a landfill ban for organic waste is no longer even on the horizon.

This article was taken from Issue 80

The waste and resources industry has made concerted efforts to reduce wastage following purchase, cutting avoidable household food waste by 21 per cent between 2007 and 2012, according to WRAP (though householders still send 4.2 million tonnes to landfill, which equates to six meals from every household every week!). And the grocery sector has also pledged to reduce food waste through various phases of the Courtauld Commitment, while also starting to work more with food redistribution charities. Indeed, redistribution of food for human consumption increased by 80 per cent (to 38,000 tonnes) in the initial year of Courtauld 3. 

The voluntary targets have been criticised by some food waste campaigners, though, with Tristram Stuart of Feeding the 5k and the Pig Idea telling Resource that they are ‘ludicrously unambitious’. Instead, Stuart champions the efforts of groups such as gleaners and freegans and, yes, the redistributors that are starting to get more supplies from the supermarkets. It is these efforts to ‘feed bellies’ rather than ‘feeding landfill’ that photographer Adela Nistora is championing in a new photographic project. 

Nistora tells Resource: “I have been zooming in on waste. Several years ago when I moved to the UK I found out about the staggering amount of food that gets thrown away, a fact that I found was under-reported in the mainstream media. It seemed to me obscene that, while one billion people across the planet suffer from hunger, so much food gets binned every single day, not to mention the waste of all those precious resources – land, water, energy – that were put into growing, processing and transporting it. 

“I decided to shed some light on the issue by showing the contrast between the different ways of dealing with surplus food and by focusing on inspiring stories and people that make a change in their communities. Through a photo story, I wanted to illustrate some of the levels of the food waste reduction pyramid.” 

Find out more at: