According to the UK’s Waste & Resources Action Programme, a government funded not for profit organization, more than 1.3 billion meals are wasted annually in UK’s hospitality and food service sector. WRAP states that 920,000 tonnes of food is wasted at hospitality and food service outlets each year, 75% of which is avoidable and could have been eaten. There is no equivalent data for Canada but based on population that would equate to 710 million meals or more than 500 million kg of edible food going to waste from Canada’s restaurant and food service sector. The figures do not include wastage from processing and packaging of the uneaten food.
The UK is beginning to do something about this enormous level of waste. London’s Food Save scheme, supported by the Mayor of London, the European Regional Development Fund and the London Waste and Recycling Board, has helped 15 of the capital’s small food businesses save more than £100,000 a year and prevent a staggering 23 tonnes of food going to waste. One typical restaurant has worked with the Food Save program to identify precisely the areas where food was being wasted and the possible options for reducing wastage. That restaurant has changed the size of and ingredients for certain dishes and has created daily delicious specials with food that would historically have gone to waste. They say that the amount being saved is enough to help pay for another member of staff.
The Mayor of London is now appealing for 200 more restaurants to join the free Food Save program, which has as an objective to divert more than 1,000 tonnes of food waste from landfill, reduce over 150 tonnes of food waste and save restaurant and food service businesses over £350,000. The program is being delivered by the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA) and Sustain, the alliance for better food and farming.
More information about the Food Save program is at http://www.thesra.org/sra_news/mayors-food-scheme-saving-restaurants-pubs-hotels-70-stone-food-mountains/
and much more information about sustainable restaurant initiatives through the UK Sustainable Restaurant Association website at http://www.thesra.org