ReFood is calling for rejuvenated government support in its national drive to eradicate food waste from landfill. Having lobbied for a UK-wide ban since launching its Vision 2020 roadmap in 2013, ReFood believes that achieving this ambition will be impossible without decisive legislative support.
With UK landfill sites now at bursting point, the food waste recycling expert suggests that national change is essential to prevent a waste crisis. Furthermore, with the greenhouse gases created by landfilling food waste proving catastrophic to the environment, immediate action is essential to achieving impending sustainability targets.
Philip Simpson, commercial director at ReFood, comments:
“For the past seven years, we have been campaigning for a national ban on food waste to landfill. Working in partnership with trade bodies, celebrity chefs, politicians and thought leaders from across the food supply chain, we spearheaded the Vision 2020 movement in 2013 and have lobbied the government to change legislation ever since.
“While our efforts and the traction of Vision 2020 have since played an instrumental part in reducing the UK’s food waste volumes (from 14 million tonnes to 10 million tonnes PCA), sending food waste to landfill is unfortunately still considered perfectly acceptable by law. Joined-up government support to make a positive change has always fallen short of expectations and, in result, we continue to lag far behind the global standard.”
Although initiatives to eradicate the landfilling of food waste were outlined within the Resources and Waste Strategy, Philip suggests that this has seemingly since fallen somewhat by the wayside. He continues, “We’ve experienced this situation many times before – excellent legislative vision marred by watered-down, piecemeal implementation. Already, talk of a firm ban has begun to weaken, while minimal progress has been made towards preparing for such a change.
“In my opinion, food waste should be high on the political agenda. After all, insight from WRAP suggests that household food waste alone is responsible for generating 19 million tonnes of CO2e every year (equivalent to the emissions generated by 30% of cars on the road).
“The goal of Vision 2020 was to achieve a national ban on food waste to landfill by the year detailed in its title, however legislative obstacles have made this ambition a significant challenge. In 2019, we released a new report – New Food Waste Horizons – which details the outstanding progress and individual successes achieved across the food supply chain.
“While a national ban has not yet come to fruition, this new report reinvigorates our goal and details the route to achieve it. Legislative support is absolutely imperative and we urge the government to rejuvenate its support.”
For more information about Vision 2020 or New Food Waste Horizons, visit www.vision2020.info. To find out more about ReFood and its food waste recycling services, visit www.refood.co.uk.