Government announces £1.15m funding to tackle food waste

Written by: Maddie Ballard | Published:
Around 4.5m tonnes of food are wasted every year in the UK

The Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (Defra) has announced £1.15m of funding to help businesses and not-for-profits in England come up with ways to cut food waste.

The funds will be split between two sub-categories: the Citizen Food Waste Prevention Grant, worth £650,000, and the Value from Food Waste Pilot Project Grant, worth £500,000.

Businesses and not-for-profits can apply for grants for projects that either help the public reduce their food waste or pilot methods to create useful materials out of food waste.

The grants will be managed by sustainability not-for-profit WRAP.

The government’s Food Waste Champion, Ben Elliot, also announced that he will hold the first ever Food Waste Action Week beginning on Monday 11 May 2020, to encourage households and businesses across the UK to reduce their food waste.

Although progress is being made, with the UK’s total food waste levels falling by 480,000 tonnes between 2015 and 2018, around 4.5m tonnes of food are still wasted every year in the UK.

Rebecca Pow, environment minister, said: “The UK is a proud world leader in tackling food waste, owing in part to the innovation and creativity of many organisations across the UK – from educating the public on food waste in our homes, to making our supply chains greener.

“I look forward to supporting UK organisations who are taking up the mantle to tackle food waste and to create a better world for ourselves, as well as generations to come.

“It makes sense in every way – it cuts collection costs, saves the customer money, and importantly reduces emissions which benefits the environment.”

The announcement comes hot on the heels of the reintroduction of the Environment Bill, which reaffirms the government’s commitment to tackle food waste – for example, by mandating weekly collections of household food waste.

The new funds and planned Food Waste Action Week are the latest steps in the government’s drive to cut food waste in the UK by 20% by 2025.

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