People have re-used and recycled materials for centuries out of necessity, and recycling legislation and curbside programs kicked off back in the 1970s. Yet in the UK up to 16% of the rubbish that ends up in the dustbin could be recycled. The unreleased energy contained in the average dustbin each year could power a television for 5,000 hours!
Recently Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall from River Cottage has produced a programme on the BBC called Hugh’s War on Waste – #wastenot . He is on a mission to change the way we think about waste, by challenging supermarkets and the fast food industry to drastically reduce the amount of waste they generate.
Hugh is a food writer and campaigner on food and environmental issues, known for his back-to-basics philosophy.
In his documentary Hugh challenges us with “We are spending more money now to get what we want, when we want it. We’re paying a high price for our infinite choice“.
About 30% of the food we produce never gets eaten. What we throw away at home costs the average UK family around £700 per year. Four millions tonnes of good food is thrown away in British homes. UK homes are binning a days worth of food a week! 60% of food we take home we throw away.
Food we throw out per week:
- 25% of carrots
- 30% boxed & bags salads
- 25% of bread rolls
- 20% of grapes
- 10% of yoghurt
- 10% cereals
- 10% cheese
- 5% biscuits
- 13% strawberries
To compound this wastage, millions of tonnes of produce is destroyed before it leaves the farm. Many farmers are ready to call it a day because of the work they put in, and what is getting rejected due to quality control.
We are not recycling enough. Items such as plastic can take 500 years to fully decompose. Yet 12 plastic bottles can produce the materials for one jacket.
But still, over a 1/4 of the UK population thinks that recycling doesn’t make a difference. About 50% of dustbin waste could be composted.
Crowdfunder are proud to be onboard with Hugh’s War on Waste, by conducting our own War on Waste. It’s something we are passionate about, and we are excited to be part of this great campaign.
“Hugh’s War on Waste has highlighted the significant environmental and social cost of waste to people all over the country and galvanised people’s interest in this important area. We’re delighted to be working with Crowdfunder to create a legacy for the programme and to get help to fund our work on waste.” – Allison Ogden-Newton, Chief Executive of Keep Britain Tidy
Tips on increasing the life of your refuse:
- Add wilted lettuce to iced water to make it fresh again
- Make smoothies from fruit
- Make your own ice-creams. Before you throw the empty jam jar out, fill it with milk, shake & then pour into moulds or ice-cube trays
- Don’t throw produce out on ‘use-by’ dates. If it still looks & smells good, it is good
- If food does need to be thrown out, get a compost bin & recycle it