Creative solutions to tackle food waste

Food waste is a problem we can no longer avoid and people are coming up with some inventive and entrepreneurial ways to tackle this growing issue.

With 7 million tonnes of food and drink being thrown away from our homes every year and supermarkets also contributing to that figure, food waste is becoming a big problem. That equates to £12.5 billion each year.

One of these is Toast Ale, a Hackney based company. They brew ale made to a special Belgian recipe that uses surplus bread from nearby delis and bakeries that would be wasted otherwise. In addition, their profits are going to the charity Feedback, who campaign to reduce and end food waste.

 

Toast Ale tackling food waste

 

Another innovative business is Silo who are the UK’s only zero waste restaurant. From the furniture to the food, the focus is on respect for the environment. Plates are made from plastic bags, jam jars are used for glasses and any food that isn’t consumed is fed into an aerobic digester, which generates up to 60kg of compost in 24 hours. They also offer its services to residential and commercial neighbours to encourage them to waste less. This focus on running a food business that is sustainable both ethically and financially is something that similar businesses should also look to achieve.

Other restaurants also need to consider how best to manage food waste. One of these solutions in the doggy bag and research from WRAP, the charity behind a number of recycling schemes in the UK, reflects this; 74% of respondents in WRAP’s research agreed that if restaurants proactively offered a doggy bag then they would use it. The Too Good To Waste campaign, created by the Sustainable Restaurant Association, created their own doggy box for restaurants to use and offer to customers to take home leftovers.

Restaurants also need to consider how to reduce the amount of prep wastage they have by coming up with innovative ways to use leftovers and create other dishes, such as turning orange peel into marmalade and broccoli stalks into soup.

With just a few small changes, restaurants and diners can work together to reduce food waste and produce food sustainably.

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