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At Bywaters, we continually advocate the reduction of food waste across all industries. We have hosted multiple ‘Sustainable Solutions’ events’ to highlight the key issues this growing problem may produce. Food waste has become an increasingly worrying issue in the world today. As more time is wasted, and solutions are pushed to the side, this issue will continue to taint our Planet and create a more environmentally challenging future for the coming generations.

In recent years, the Annual food waste within the UK has remained substantially high. According to research conducted for the London Borough of Lambeth, annually 4.5 million tonnes of edible food is wasted. This is enough to fill roughly 38 million wheelie bins. 

 

Food waste – an ethical issue?

The UK government has pledged to halve food wastage within the UK by 2030, supporting its goal to protect the environment. The United Nations has estimated that over 931 million tonnes of food was wasted in 2019. This is extremely saddening, as it has been suggested that over 800 million people worldwide go to bed hungry every night. Edible food has been going to waste for years, food that would help millions of people to improve their lives. The world needs to make a stand to prevent this from continuing, by outlining the consequences and ethical issues produced by this growing affair.

Disposing of food waste within landfill sites has a significant impact on the environment. As the food rots away, it emits greenhouse gases like methane, contributing to the acceleration of climate change.

This is a growing issue worldwide, and the UK government is working hard to implement food waste reduction strategies, with businesses across the country taking action to reduce their food footprint. By January 2020, businesses and not-for-profit organisations had benefited from funding of over £1.15 million from the UK government, to combat the rising issue of food waste. 

The majority of food wasted is edible, and can be used effectively in many ways. Donating food products to charitable organisations can help those less fortunate. Greatly contributing to the issues currently affecting millions of people in the UK.

 

The solutions:

At Bywaters, we are working hard in collaboration with others, to contribute to the reduction of food waste through smart and innovative methods. We are working closely with organisations who have been creating exciting new products and services which allow businesses and individuals to streamline consumption. Companies such as ORCA and OLIO have been working effectively to develop their unique solutions to combat the growing issue.

 

The ORCA – Food waste diversion

ORCA is a technology designed to replicate the Human body’s natural digestion process. Creating an impressive, high temperature, biological environment to ensure food waste is digested into a liquid. The process uses air, water and microbiology to convert food waste into an environmentally friendly liquid, that can then be disposed of through the sewage systems and be reprocessed like any other biological waste. 

This technology offers an alternative method of waste management and collection, by eliminating the trucking process. By doing so, reducing the harmful emissions being released into the atmosphere through traffic. This supports The ORCA’s key vision, which is to decrease the number of garbage trucks on roads.

Depending on the size of the model, on average, 416,000 pounds of food waste can be diverted from landfill sites. Which will significantly  reduce the amount of food waste generated, combating the growing issue of climate change by decreasing the amount of rotting food waste producing methane into the atmosphere. 

So, using the ORCA is 65 times better for the environment than landfill, 10 times better than windrow composting, 35 times better than in-vessel composting and 25 times better than anaerobic digestion.

 

OLIO – Food waste reduction

OLIO is a brilliant and innovative service that allows people to prevent food waste in their day-to-day lives. Using this service connects users with local businesses and neighbours to share food products. Rather than products being thrown away, passing on perfectly good and usable food items to others is beneficial for the environment and helps the nation’s goal to decrease food waste. 

The service operates; through OLIO’s app. By adding a photo and a brief description of a product, you make the item available for someone else to collect and use. Hungry users could then arrange a pick-up through the in-app messaging service, preventing the food from going to waste. 

This service allows people and businesses to manage their food waste better, preventing perfectly edible meals from being thrown into a landfill to rot, whilst providing the initiative to be more environmentally responsible and mindful of the waste they produce.

 

Anaerobic Digestion – Food waste recycling

Anaerobic digestion is a chemical process which uses bacteria to break down different forms of organic material. The process as a whole is an environmentally friendly alternative to throwing food waste and organics into landfills. The solution itself is natural and utilises microorganisms to break down the organic matter. After this, biogases are released which are then captured and converted into renewable energy. 

Anaerobic Digestion helps to return broken down organic matter to the land, whilst preventing food waste from being dumped in a landfill to rot. This greatly reduces greenhouse gas emissions, helping to control climate change. To learn more about this process, check out our Blog post on Anaerobic digestion.

 

Here are some ways you could reduce food waste:

  • Plan your food consumption and weekly usage of ingredients, to ensure you are buying the right amounts of food for the entire household, minimising the chances of left overs and excess food waste.
  • Purchase freezable foods and utilise freezer storage to prolong your foods life.
  • Use your food waste for composting purposes. Things such as fruits and vegetables, Tea bags and coffee grounds can all be composted at home. 
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