The Government is asking for Hampshire County Council (HCC) to give expert opinions on how to tackle the country’s food waste.
As one of only two authorities invited to parliament’s environment, food and rural affairs committee today, it will help in the country’s attempt to battle the economic, social and environmental impact of food waste.
In the UK, approximately eight million tonnes of food is wasted post-manufacture, including households, retail and the hospitality and food sector, which has an annual value of around £16 billion a year.
HCC councillor Rob Humby said: “The amount of food waste in the UK has far-reaching economic and environmental implications, and we very much welcome the opportunity to present our views and evidence as part of this national inquiry.”
The council has been running its Smart Living campaign, which focuses on ways to save money and recycle around the house throughout the county.
Cllr Humby said: “This has been well received by residents, but we can’t do this alone – we need commitment from everyone in the supply chain, including the government, to effect lasting change.
“Dealing with waste is costly for local authorities, and, in turn, the taxpayer. With evidence showing that the average family throws away £60 worth of food each month which could have been eaten, the costs of unnecessary food waste are certainly stacking up.
“A fully supported, collaborative approach on a national scale is what’s needed.
“Dealing with how we handle waste is one thing – but the real and critical issue that must be addressed is learning how we can all waste less in the first place.”
The council will be joined by Merseyside recycling and waste authority in giving oral evidence at the committee at how to try and tackle the issue.
Various supermarkets including Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose have already given evidence in an attempt to help solve the waste problem. 85% of food waste post-manufacture comes from homes, with an average family spending £700 a year on food that is wasted.
According to the government, 60 per cent of household food waste could have been avoided.
HCC is a signatory to two food waste campaigns, including Hubbub’s joint ambition for zero food waste and Courtauld 2025. Both aim to reduce waste, with Courtald 2025’s project aiming to cut the resources needed to provide food and drink by one-fifth over ten years.