ReFood is calling on households to join the fight against festive food waste, after research from the Food Standard Agency revealed that we throw away 34,000 tonnes of food on Christmas day alone.
“We like to let our hair down and loosen our buckles over Christmas, but we also need to maintain some awareness of how this seasonal excess impacts our planet,” said Philip Simpson, commercial director at ReFood.
“Food waste is a problem that’s often ignored at this time of year. Stockpiling food in anticipation of friends and relatives is common, even though the shops only close for a few days. Many people also feel pressured to buy food they don’t like, such as sprouts, purely for the sake of tradition.
“A significant portion of this food then gets thrown into general waste, where it is sent to landfill and left to rot. That’s a valuable resource wasted, and a lot of methane emissions released into the atmosphere.”
According to the latest data, Christmas waste equates to roughly 233 million Brussels sprouts, five million litres of gravy, 5,127 tonnes of meat and 3,000 tonnes of parsnips.
“Food waste is a valuable resource, and we need to start appreciating it,” Philip said. “The carbon dioxide equivalent emissions of 172 tonnes of wasted sprouts alone could power a home for three years.”
Philip is now calling on all households to fight food waste over Christmas by shopping more selectively, preserving more effectively, and recycling, wherever possible.
“You don’t need to become the Scrooge of Christmas food to make a difference,” Philip said. “Start by buying only as much as you need and forgo tradition if it means buying food you don’t like. Learn to love leftovers as well: Christmas is the perfect opportunity to get creative and deck your cupboards with enough stocks, jams and preserves to see you through until March.
“Finally, if you have a kerbside food recycling service, use it! At ReFood, we recycle any unwanted food waste into renewable energy and sustainable bio-fertiliser via anaerobic digestion. Knowing that your Christmas plate could power a home is definitely something to be jolly about!”
For more information on ReFood’s food waste recycling services, please visit refood.co.uk.