Cllr Richard Holmes has supported efforts by the waste agency WRAP to reduce the waste of edible food in our fridges and cupboards.
The UK throws away two million tonnes of food waste every year, one third of which is edible. This is worth on average of £700 per year to a family household.
Speaking today Cllr Holmes said:
“Many people will look for a date on a food item and once passed that date throw it out when it may be completely fine to eat. Fears and scandals over food poisoning have created a society where people throw it out – better safe than sorry!
“The words ‘Best Before’ or ‘Sell By’ are merely advisory. Food items, including milk, bread, cheese, and yogurts, if refrigerated properly, below 5 degrees, will usually last longer than the date specified.
“People are literally throwing their money away. In times when household budgets are stretched and too many are reliant on Food Banks we must think of what we buy as well as what we eat.
“The amount of food waste we are dealing with also has the consequence of increasing rates, as it is the local Council who have to dispose of it. So, by saving and using edible food, people will save money directly, as well as reducing the costs of waste disposal for their local council.
“It is therefore imperative that we all do our bit to avoid food waste. We live in a consumer driven society, with supermarkets only too keen to sell food items in bulk to look like a good deal. This is especially true in the run up to Christmas when it sometimes seems panic buying sets in.
“I support WRAP in lobbying for clearer labelling, which I am also pleased to see has received the support of the Government. Labelling is misleading, and dates provided are misleading. Plenty of advice can be found at https://www.lovefoodhatewaste.com/ on how to use food and save waste.
“The message is simple: Buy what you eat, eat what you buy. Do not waste good food.”