Recycling

Food waste worse than plastic for climate change

October 8, 2019

According to Zero Waste Scotland, food waste from Scottish homes is even worse for climate change than plastic waste. This is our understanding and why we believe that reducing food waste whilst also reducing plastics use and maximising recycling and re-use is a balancing act. Get rid of plastic packaging in bread for example and wasted bread will increase as the ability to keep it fresh for longer is taken away. Every action has consequences!

Food waste has huge impact on climate change
Food waste has huge impact on climate change

“Food waste is actually a bigger cause of climate change than plastics. It is still vital that we continue to reduce plastic waste, which remains an extremely serious issue. But as more people ditch single use plastics as awareness grows of the wider impact of plastic waste, including pollution, we will send a strong message on the damage caused by binning leftovers and other wasted food.”

The agency issued the warning as it began work to implement its new Food Waste Reduction Action Plan, launched with the Scottish Government with the aim of reducing food waste across Scotland by a third by 2025.

When food waste ends up in landfill, it rots, producing methane – one of the most damaging greenhouse gases driving up climate change. In the short-term methane is many times worse than carbon dioxide.

Iain Gulland, chief executive Zero Waste Scotland, said: “It might seem bizarre but scraping that leftover lasagne, mince or salad from your plate into the bin is seriously damaging the planet, because when those scraps of pasta and lettuce which you never got around to eating end up in landfill, they rot. And as they break down they emit methane, which is many times more harmful in the short-term to our climate than carbon dioxide (CO2).

“Food waste is actually a bigger cause of climate change than plastics. It is still vital that we continue to reduce plastic waste, which remains an extremely serious issue. But as more people ditch single use plastics as awareness grows of the wider impact of plastic waste, including pollution, we will send a strong message on the damage caused by binning leftovers and other wasted food.” 

Zero waste Scotland have a great campaign designed to raise public awareness of this fact and you can read more about it here

Source: https://www.zerowastescotland.org.uk/press-release/food-waste-worse-plastic-climate-change-says-zero-waste-scotland

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