A recent report produced by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) found that almost a billion tonnes of food is wasted globally, every year.
The sheer amount of food produced, but not consumed by people, has significant environmental, societal and economic implications, and so reducing food waste must remain a priority for governments, manufacturers, retailers and consumers alike.
A study by Wrap – a non-profit organisation that work with organisations to reduce waste – found that every year, UK households are responsible for 6.6 million tonnes of food waste, of which 70% could have been eaten. This equates to 4.5 million tonnes of edible food thrown away, with an average UK family throwing away about £810 of food each year!
Over lockdown, with many making more conscious decisions about unnecessary trips to the supermarket and instead opting to use up what they’ve got in their fridge, Love Food Hate Waste found that the amount of food thrown out by UK households reduced by a third. However, since lockdown lifted those figures have rebounded slightly, though not to pre-Covid levels as it seems many are keen to continue their improved food management methods.
The study by Wrap also highlighted that the hospitality & foodservice industry, food manufactures, retail and wholesale sectors are responsible for 30% of the UK’s food waste, which equates to 2.9 millions tonnes of food.
As a Group, we’re committed to playing our part in reducing food waste, putting in place work streams to achieve our target of a 25% reduction in food waste by 2030. To do so, we’re consistently monitoring and evaluating our production process to identify areas for improvement, whether it’s through packaging and storage solutions, or ingredient sourcing and transportation methods.
You can find out more about our efforts in our 2020 CSR report here, but below are some of our most recent achievements from across our businesses:
The Billington Group
Plastic packaging plays an important role in safely delivering food to consumers and reducing food waste, so we have carefully considered the alternatives we have implemented, which include:
- We have moved away from hard to recycle black plastic to support improved kerbside recycling rates.
- We have removed PVC from our business, which is both hard to recycle and harmful if not disposed of properly.
- Across the Group the stretch wrap has been reviewed with c.40 tonnes of plastic removed.
- 10 tonnes of cosmetic “Neck Sleeves” have been removed from our bottled products.
- At EPC all PET bottles include 51% recycled content and we will also implement this at BFS.
We recently donated around 400 cases of Glorious! Soups and porridges to local Food Banks in the Scunthorpe area, including the Local Authorities Food donation organisation, as well as care homes, plus we also managed to serve the local community via donations in our Company Shop.
We have donated 4.8 tonnes of food to the charity, Feed the Hungry, who take the donations to then arrange to cook and feed people.
Food waste is a global problem, and everyone must play their part in reducing it. Stay tuned to find out more on our environmental efforts, or explore our targets in our latest CSR report – The Billington Way.