Scotland goes for formal food waste target

Written by: David Burrows | Published:

Scotland is to set a formal food waste reduction target as part of its circular economy strategy.

The announcement comes as new figures showed that food waste overall has fallen by 5.7% (37,000 tonnes) per year since 2009. Avoidable food waste has been cut by 7.7% a year (30,000 tonnes).

Announcing the plans, environment secretary Richard Lochhead said he believed the target would be the “first of its kind” in Europe and told delegates that he had written to the UK resource minister Rory Stewart and “made it clear that I don’t support the UK government’s reluctance to take action on food waste”.

The United States recently announced a target to reduce food waste by 50% by 2030. The Sustainable Development Goals also commit to halving per capita global waste at the retail and consumer levels.

Experts welcomed the plans. Campaigner Tristram Stuart also called for the target to be legally binding, similar to the targets in the Climate Change Act. “That would be really something,” he said, as he urged Scotland to go for a 50% reduction target.

Stuart used his speech at the Scottish Resources Conference to take another swipe at the supermarkets. He said they had “flagrantly mis-used” Wrap’s data showing that food waste arising at store level is just 2%. “It’s been used as a greenwashing exercise,” he said.


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