Food waste is worse than plastic for climate change, warns Zero Waste Scotland environmental agency.
Every Scottish hospitality business should play a role in protecting the country’s environment.
ZERO Waste Scotland wants restaurants, takeaways and other food related businesses to reduce the volume of carbon heavy food waste being binned.
The initiative is backed by MasterChef: The Professionals winner (2016) Gary Maclean and owner of Glasgow’s Black Sheep Bistro, Angela Loftus.
Maclean is also Scotland’s National Chef, a post recently created by The Government as part of plans to make Scotland a Good Food Nation.
The hospitality sector is a key driver in helping Scotland meet Scottish Government targets to cut food waste by one third by 2025 from 2013 base levels.
It is estimated that one in every six meals that the Scottish hospitality industry serves is binned at a cost of around £212m a year.
The agency warns that food waste is worse than plastic for climate change. It says food waste is a greater cause of global warming because of all the resources and energy that goes into growing and making the food in the first place.
In 2016 food waste collected from people’s homes created more emissions than plastic, at roughly 109 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (MTCO2e) compared to 0.73MtCO2e.
“One of the key reasons why food waste has a far greater impact on global warming is that there is much more of it. The amount of food waste collected from Scottish households in 2016 roughly double the amount of plastic waste collected,” Zero Waste spokesperson said.
In 2016, the agency calculated that 456,000 tonnes of food waste was collected in total, compared with 224,000 tonnes of plastic waste.
If wasted food is then sent to landfill, the impacts are even worse as this produces and emits methane, one of the most damaging greenhouse gases. In the short-term, methane is many times worse than carbon dioxide.
Black Sheep Bistro owner Angela Loftus said: “Our customers love our ‘greener’ approach and are especially pleased to be offered a Good to Go doggy bag. They see it as an extra service, better value and a chance to do the right thing.”
Zero Waste Scotland chief executive Iain Gulland added: “Food waste is a huge contributor to carbon emissions and catering businesses can play a significant role in reducing this impact. If businesses take steps to address their waste it will pay-off for all of us.”
If you are interested in receiving a free Good to Go starter pack of boxes, bags and food safety stickers please visit – https://www.zerowastescotland.org.uk/food-waste/good-to-go-starter-pack
For more information on the action plan go https://www.zerowastescotland.org.uk/food-waste/reduction-action-plan