WS WASTE PREVENTION – Food Waste and Covid-19

The last few weeks and months have been filled with questions and lessons. How do you make a facemask? How to keep a harmonious atmosphere when locked in with family? How to make banana bread? How to use leftovers?

These questions have been searched by so many and every person has learnt something new. The positives that have come out of this tough situation are how we have all learnt to adapt and be creative. Many of us have created some of the best (and worst) meals during lockdown, using tins that have been hidden for months. According to Wrap’s study on how consumer’s food habits have altered during Covid-19, we have learnt great lessons. Many people have begun freezing ingredients and whole meals so they don’t go out of date and can be used another time. Others have started making shopping lists consistently for the first time. Some are saving leftovers they never normally would and are getting creative with when to reuse them.  Reducing everyone’s ability to shop and the possibility of product shortages has made us think differently about wasting things.

This has resulted in 36% of people in the UK stating they are throwing away less food. 36% is around 1 in 3 people who are saving money, helping the environment and stopping to think about food as something we should value more than what we currently do.

What the Waste Prevention Team have found most shocking on reflection is the amount of times per week the team would buy food. These food shops could have been the main shop, top-up shops, lunchtime meal deals when forgetting lunch, or, snack runs for an impromptu film night. Purchasing food around 4-5 times a week, not including possible restaurant visits. This wasn’t uncommon. We rush around, knowing we will be able to buy food whenever and wherever we are. This change has made us think. Wrap’s study also found frequency of shopping has decreased substantially, while the amount of food purchased per shop has increased. The food purchased has been more carefully considered, and thanks to creating a shopping list everything has been remembered!

So, going forward we have challenged ourselves to keep our new good habits. Like 47% of people surveyed the Team will check in cupboards before shopping. Like 37% of people they will see if new fun meals can be created using random ingredients that would otherwise go to waste.

Our main goal though is to buy food less and only buy the food we need! This will save money, save the planet and save precious time.

What changes have you made in lockdown? What changes will you be keeping?

Email Waste.Prevention@westsussex.gov.uk with any tips you have or advice you would like!

https://wrap.org.uk/sites/files/wrap/Citizen_responses_to_the_Covid-19_lockdown_0.pdf