It's Zero Waste Week, and people across the UK are being challenged to reduce the amount of food they throw away, to help save money, protect the environment, and preserve resources. This year Buckinghamshire Council is marking Zero Waste Week by launching its own local zero waste map to help local people reduce their waste. The map shows all the shops, recycling points and businesses in Buckinghamshire that can help us reduce our waste. Whether it’s a nappy library, zero waste refill shop, furniture repairs or just somewhere to recycle your carrier bag, the map shows it all. There are already over 100 locations that offer products or services that are perfect for Zero Waste Week. The map also has more than 75 locations where people can drop off hard to recycle items, like crisp packets, carrier bags or even toothbrushes – and the Council is asking members of the public to update the map with all the recycling and re-use opportunities in their own local community.
Bill Chapple OBE, Buckinghamshire Council Cabinet Member for Environment & Climate Change, said "There are some really simple steps that can prevent food from being wasted, meaning we all have the opportunity to make a positive change every day. Working together, we can have a huge impact. For example – if we stopped wasting bread for a whole year in the UK, it would save the same amount of CO2 as is generated by over 500,000 return flights from London to New York." "We are already have really good recyclers in Buckinghamshire, and together with Greatmoor energy from waste plant, this means that we send less than 0.1% of our waste to landfill. But we have to aspire to zero waste. We’d love everyone to have a look at our zero waste map and see what's available near them to help them reduce waste. We'd also like people to add to the map themselves, with any amenities, shops or projects in their own local community." Now in its thirteenth year, Zero Waste Week is asking people to rise to the challenge of keeping good food out of the bin. Buckinghamshire Recycles will be sharing lots of tips and hacks for reducing food waste this week. It’s really important for our pockets and the plant that we reduce food waste and the best place to start is in our homes. Rachelle Strauss, founder of Zero Waste Week said: "It’s clear that the Great British public has a growing concern about the effects of food waste and my aim is to illustrate how a Zero Waste lifestyle is one of the easiest ways to tackle this issue within your home and business." You can find the Buckinghamshire Zero Waste Map at https://www.recycleforbuckinghamshire.co.uk/zerowastemap/ 10 ideas for reducing food waste that anyone can try right away
Only buy food you need – check cupboards and fridge before shopping
Search for recipes that help you use up leftovers
Create an ‘eat me first’ shelf in your fridge
Set up and use a compost heap for unavoidable food waste
Learn about portion control – how much do you need to make a meal?
Teach yourself about the difference between ‘best before’ and ‘use by’ dates
Research foods that can be frozen and use your freezer to extend the life of food
Serve from dishes rather than plating up, so uneaten food can be used the next day
Learn how to store foods properly – keep potatoes out of the light, bananas away from other produce and weevils out of your flour!
Sign up to a food sharing app
Check your cupboard and fridge first to avoid buying food you don't need