I WROTE in May that the food supply chain uses a lot of energy and therefore is responsible for a big slice of the UK’s carbon emissions.

If a punnet of strawberries (which equates to 1kg of CO2) goes past its best before date and gets binned it is sad because despite not being eaten, the CO2 is still now in the sky.

Once buried in landfill, those strawberries will decompose, but will release methane, which is a much more effective greenhouse gas than CO2. So food waste is still a big deal.

Millions of tonnes across the UK are wasted within the farms, processing and once taken home from the shop.

The supermarkets themselves send some to landfill though they are redistributing more than before. Redistribution of food from supermarkets has increased by 27,000 tonnes from 2015 to 2018, that’s the equivalent of an additional 65 million meals; with a value of £81 million. There is still the potential for another 190,000 tonnes a year still going to landfill which could be redistributed (figures from wrap.org.uk).

Worcester Food Rescue has been going two years now. We now do four Waitrose, three Tesco and three Pret-a-manger collections a week and distribute to a network of charities in the city.

We have made 450 collections in the last year saving over 9,000kg of food which amounts to over 16,000 meals and a CO2 saving of 22,610kg.

Sometimes supermarkets give us non-food items, such as 2,000 nappies which we also pass on to charities, as it is not only the production and waste of food that costs CO2.

If you would like to help out or learn more please look at the webpage oldnorthstables.org.uk/worcester-food-rescue/ for more details.

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