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Norfolk and Suffolk residents urged to accept Food Savvy mission to reduce food waste and serve another day

Norfolk County Council, 25 July 2023 00:00

Households across Norfolk and Suffolk are being urged to sign up for a mission to do their bit to protect the planet and help get the best out of salad and vegetables.

Mission Food Savvy is targeting these items in the war on waste as they are some of the most thrown away foods in the two counties.

The summer campaign promotes savvy ways to store salad and vegetables to keep them fresher to be savoured another day; or send them undercover in delicious dishes to make sure nothing goes to waste.

Using a fun, hero agent theme, the campaign reveals how everything from tomatoes to cucumbers, carrots to broccoli, can escape the waste bin through better planning, storing and cooking.
Mission Food Savvy is the latest in the well-established Food Savvy campaign, run jointly by Norfolk County Council and Suffolk Waste Partnership. The campaign inspires households to reduce food waste by:

  • Planning meals before shopping to ensure nothing goes to waste
  • Keeping vegetables and salads in optimal condition by storing them correctly
  • Getting creative with leftovers and send spare veg undercover into other dishes.

Suffolk Waste Partnership and Norfolk County Council work together on the Food Savvy campaign.

Rob Cole of the Suffolk Waste Partnership said: "Households in Norfolk and Suffolk throw away enough food in a year to fill Norwich Castle almost 25 times over, or 155 Bury St Edmunds cathedrals. What we are challenging people to do is to make it their mission to plan what they need and not waste food or money."

Councillor Eric Vardy, Norfolk County Council cabinet member for Environment and Waste said:

"The average household wastes over two months' worth of food each year - that's more than £700. Reducing food waste is good for the planet and our pockets, especially as many of us are working hard to make our budgets stretch further. We hope residents embrace our FoodSavvy mission and are inspired to use up their leftovers."

As well as financial savings there are environmental savings too. If everyone in the UK stopped throwing away food for just one day it would be the same as taking 14,000 cars off the road for a whole year.

The Suffolk Waste Partnership includes all district, borough and county councils.

Volume of food waste calculations based on 737,883 households in Norfolk and Suffolk (Census 2021). It assumes each household has a waste bin with a capacity of 240 litres, so the total volume of waste bins in Norfolk and Suffolk is about 177.1 million litres. Our research shows that 35% of this volume contains food waste, therefore the volume of food waste in the waste bins is about 62 million litres. There are no official stats to the volume of local landmarks, but we can make some rough estimates for illustrative purposes. For instance, the volume of food waste in the waste bins is roughly equivalent to:

  • 24.8 Norwich Castles (the castle has a volume of about 2.5 million litres - estimated by multiplying height of 27m by area of 93,000m2)
  • 155 Bury St Edmunds Cathedrals (the cathedral has a volume of about 400,000 litres - estimated by multiplying height of 40m by area of 10,000m2)

The average household wastes £700 of food each year. The latest ONS survey shows our region, 'East', spends £66.40 a week on food and non-alcoholic beverages (ONS Family Spending Workbook 3 - 31 May 2023). Annual wastage figure divided by weekly spend makes an equivalent of 10.54 weeks, and 4 weeks per month makes 2.5 months.

The greenhouse gas emissions associated with the 9.5 million tonnes of food waste in the UK in 2018 have been estimated to be around 36 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e), according to the latest report from Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP). [ONS]

Norfolk County Council has committed to working with our partners to achieve 'net zero' carbon emissions on our estates by 2030, but within our wider areas, work towards 'carbon neutrality'. This also supports the government's ambition for a net zero country by 2050.

We will achieve this by implementing carbon conscious ways of working across our buildings and supply chain; putting in place the right infrastructure across the county to support the move towards net-zero; and by working together with partners to lead and inspire our colleagues, citizens, communities and businesses to take action and play their part in protecting Norfolk for future generations.

Last modified: 14 May 2024 12:46