Supporting Food Waste Action Week 2024

Residents in Barnsley and across South Yorkshire are being urged to discover the benefits of buying loose fruit and vegetables as part of the UK’s biggest annual food waste reduction campaign.

Food Waste Action Week 2024, which is running 18-24 March, will be encouraging citizens to ‘Choose What You’ll Use’.

A great way to start reducing your food waste is by buying loose items. Research has shown that:

  • Food waste costs £1,000 a year for an average household of four
  • If all apples, bananas, and potatoes were sold loose, we could save 60,000 tonnes of food waste by enabling people to buy closer to their needs - the equivalent of over 8.2 million shopping baskets full and enough to fill 6,500 waste trucks.
  • Buying loose could reduce plastic packaging by 8,800 tonnes per year.
  • It could help to save more than 80,000 tonnes CO2e emissions.
  • Buying loose helps you find the right amount of fruit and veg to fit your family’s needs instead of pre-packaged food where you could be buying more than you need.

Food waste is an important but often unseen climate change issue and waste chiefs in South Yorkshire are getting behind Food Waste Action Week. It brings businesses, government organisations and global partners together to support citizens to develop the tools they need to cut food waste in their homes.

The campaign aims to show how simple behaviours to reduce food waste can save time and money. This will ultimately reduce the impact of food waste on climate change.

Cllr James Higginbottom, Chair of the Joint Waste Board in South Yorkshire and Cabinet Spokesperson for Environment and Highways, said:

“We are proud to be supporting Food Waste Action Week again this year. Many people are struggling with increasing food prices and the cost of living. The Food Waste Action campaign looks at how we can all save money by buying only what we need.

“Not only is this good for our pockets but also good for the environment. It helps to reduce the amount of food and plastic packaging being sent to waste.”

This year, the campaign will be working in schools and with brands and retailers, to make the shift towards buying and selling fresh produce simpler for everyone.

Jackie Bailey, Senior Campaign Manager Love Food Hate Waste, said:

“We know that choosing what we will use will significantly cut the amount of food ending up in the bin – now is the time for retailers and shoppers to make that a reality.

"Increasing loose fruit and veg offerings in store will not only help slash waste, reduce hard to recycle plastics, and stop tens of thousands of tonnes of CO2e emissions, it will also respond to what shoppers would like to see. It’s a win-win situation.”

For more information about how you could save money on your food bills, visit the Waste Less South Yorkshire website or visit Love Food Hate Waste.

Find out more about Healthy Living and food support available in Barnsley.

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