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Cracking Down on Food Waste This Christmas

3 min read

mince pies wasted at Christmas

Food is a massive part of Christmas. Most of us love a mince pie or two (or three or four…), but what impact do they have on the environment? The UK consumes a whopping 175 million mince pies each Christmastime, with 74 million being thrown away. What’s the result of this? 175 tonnes of aluminium packaging wasted.

But mince pies aren’t the only things that are wasted. 2 million turkeys, 5 million Christmas puddings, £67 million worth of oranges (..and a partridge in a pear tree) go to waste every single December. It’s obvious these numbers are ridiculously high, but it’s even worse when you consider how so many of us are living at the moment. With so many people unable to afford even the basics, food waste seems completely irresponsible. 

According to a survey by Biffa, food is the UK’s biggest source of waste generation at Christmas, up a huge 30% compared to the rest of the year. Food sent to landfill rots and releases methane, contributing to global warming – when it could’ve just been eaten! So what can you do to help?

Make your own food from scratch

Instead of buying ready-made mince pies and puddings that don’t always get eaten, why not make your own? Not only does this cut down on packaging waste, but it also means you’re less likely to waste the food itself when you know how much work you put into it!

Plan ahead

We’ve all been there. You write out your shopping list and tell yourself you’ll only buy what’s on there. But then suddenly you’re faced with all the Christmas treats and, oops! In the basket they go. This isn’t so bad if you actually end up eating the food, but too often we let our impulse food buys go off before they get eaten, meaning that the food AND packaging go to waste. With just a little bit of planning, we can avoid this entirely. 

Cook just the right amount

Over-indulging is something we do very well at Christmas, but anything we don’t indulge in usually ends up in the bin. By cooking just the right amount, we can cut down on the amount of good food that goes in the bin, saving the planet and our wallets.

Use up your leftovers

If you still end up with leftovers, get creative and turn them into a new meal – and we don’t just mean turkey sandwiches! BBC Good Food has some great creative recipes that will ensure you get the most of your leftovers. 

With anything else that’s left, freeze them in airtight containers. Using up food in your freezer during December is always a good idea, so you can make room for your leftovers later in the month. 

If you’ve got surplus packaged food that you won’t eat, you can give it to friends, family or neighbours, or donate it to your local food bank or homeless shelter.

Of course, all of these tips apply not only to households, but also to restaurants, pubs, and the hospitality sector. Whether you’re catering for a Christmas party, serving Christmas dinner throughout December in your pub, or running a food stall at a Christmas market, we can deal with any waste you might not have been able to avoid. Our food waste recycling service benefits your business in multiple ways. We source local anaerobic digestion facilities, bio-diesel refineries and animal feed specialists, reducing your company’s carbon footprint while also cutting costs. By using local facilities, we ensure a faster turnaround and a more efficient process. And we operate across the UK so wherever you are, we’ve got you covered.

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