Londoners’ avoidable food waste drops by 9%

Written by: Maddie Ballard | Published:
A stunt from the Small Change, Big Difference campaign to help Londoners visualise their food waste

Six London boroughs reduced the amount of good food they throw away by 9% between spring 2017 and spring 2019, a new report shows.

Transforming City FOod hAbits for Life (TRiFOCAL), a three-year food sustainability initiative led by WRAP together with the London Waste and Recycling Board and Groundwork London, has released its results as it draws to a close.

The six London boroughs on which the initiative conducted an in-depth evaluation reduced their avoidable food waste, such as mouldy bread or overripe fruit, by 9% on average.

The amount of avoidable food waste produced per household per week fell from 1.59kg to 1.44kg.

Additionally, food waste overall (avoidable and unavoidable) dropped by 14%, from 2.58kg per household per week to 2.21kg.

By reducing their avoidable food waste, Londoners in the six boroughs saved a total of £12.5m.

The TRiFOCAL initiative piloted a campaign to encourage Londoners to eat more healthily and sustainably, recycle unavoidable food waste such as egg shells and apple cores, and prevent food waste prevention by planning, shopping, storing, and preparing food more thoughtfully.

The Small Change, Big Difference campaign was supported by stakeholders including local authorities, restaurants, employers, and community groups, and reached thousands of Londoners, primarily 18-34-year-olds.

It featured activities ranging from pop-up events and social media campaigns to cookery classes.

Peter Maddox, director at WRAP, said: “TRiFOCAL is the first project of its kind.

“It has proved that combining messaging around healthy and sustainable eating with food waste prevention and recycling can deliver real impact.

“TRiFOCAL’s unique model has attracted attention across Europe, and we’re setting the standard in how we might tackle citizen behaviour change around sustainable food behaviours in the future.”

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