What are the benefits of recycling food waste?
According to a survey in 2016, the amount of food discarded worldwide was 1.3 billion tons, and about 30% of the bought food was discarded. Today, issues related to food waste and food loss are becoming more severe around the world. Especially in the UK, 10 million tons of food is discarded every year, about 70% of which is generated from households. In order to improve this situation, Cheshire East in the UK will start new efforts in January 2020 to effectively use food waste.
From 6 January, people living in Cheshire East will start to receive a green food caddy to separate food waste easily from the rest of household waste. Once the caddy is full, the food waste goes directly into the garden waste bin along with garden waste, with or without a liner. Garden waste bins will be collected every two weeks, and the waste will be taken to a special processing plant, where then it will be recycled into compost to use in horticulture and agriculture.
Rotting food waste is considered to cause climatic change by producing methane gas. In addition, disposing of food waste costs twice as much as recycling food waste. Rather than just disposing of food waste into the trash, recycling enables us to regenerate it into high-quality compost and return the organic matter to the soil. Cheshire East’s effort is a measure that places emphasis on the richness of soil while reducing food waste by recycling.
Ralph Kemp, Cheshire East Council’s head of environmental services, is encouraging residents to explore ways of reducing food waste at their own initiatives through the company’s “Love Food, Hate Waste Campaign” rather than they are forced to use this recycling service. “Love Food, Hate Waste Campaign” was launched in 2007 by the UK “Waste and Resources Action Program (WRAP).” Reducing food waste is believed to not only save money but also contribute to mitigating global warming.
People will try to avoid increasing food loss, such as buying only what is needed and eating all that is purchased, and if food waste is generated, it will be recycled into compost. If this effort in the UK is spread and continued throughout the world, the food loss issue may come closer to its solution.