We’re incredibly proud to support the Sustainable Restaurant Association. Founded in 2010 as a non-profit organisation, the SRA aims to reduce food waste and support sustainability in the restaurant industry by offering easy-to-follow, practical advice.
Their new punny campaign #WasteWatchers aims to raise awareness about the scale of our waste and to encourage better food practices, from procurement and preparation to service and disposal.
Did you know that every year the UK food service industry wastes enough food to fill the Shard almost 11 times? On top of this, UK households waste 6.7 million tonnes of food annually, almost a third of the food we purchase! The majority of this food goes to landfill where it rots and emits methane, a noxious greenhouse gas. Yuck.
What makes up those 6.7 million tonnes of food, we hear you asking? 4.8 billion untouched grapes, 1.9 billion unused potatoes, 2.6 billion slices of uneaten bread… Those poor never-made sandwiches, what could have been! Not only is this excessive food waste terrible for the environment, but it’s also putting a huge dent in our wallets. The UK as a whole pays for but does not eat £10.2 billion of good food each year. £10.2 BILLION! Excuse us if we’re starting to sound like Dr Evil.
After reading the report, we sat down in teapigs HQ (with a cup of tea, of course!) and discussed how we could better watch our waste. We are already committed to recycling our food waste and tea temples, which are taken by First Mile and turned into energy and fertiliser. Reece, our resident tea-geek, figured out that we recycle around 2,500 tea temples a month, which is just shy of 30,000 a year. Wow we’re a thirsty lot! To give something back, we decided to match this amount and donate it (in fresh tea temples of course) to our local food bank. So, we loaded up the car and visited Hounslow Community Food Bank armed with 7,300 tea temples and will be making regular donations throughout the year!
Last Friday we held our first ‘waste-awareness’ lunch in the office. The night before, we went home and cleared out all the food that was near its use-by date in our fridges and brought it into the office for a communal lunch. We also searched our cupboards to find dry foods and dusty tins that had been sitting there for far too long and we created a wonderful hamper to give to our local foodbank. It might not seem like much, but it’s a great start and a fantastic way to get everyone thinking about how much food we waste each year. What about you? Why not have a waste-awareness lunch in your office? Do you separate your food waste? How much edible food do you throw away each week? Get the conversation started over your next cuppa!