Government calls on Hampshire County Council for expert evidence on food waste

Hampshire County Council is one of only two local authorities to be invited to give expert opinion to the Government’s Food Waste Enquiry at Parliamentary Committee for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) next week (Wednesday 1 February) into the economic, social, and environmental impact of food waste in England.

Jan 27 2017

Councillor Rob Humby, Executive Member for Environment and Transport at Hampshire County Council said: “The amount of food wasted 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.”

In the UK, approximately 8 million tonnes of food is wasted post-manufacture, including households, retail and wholesale, and the hospitality and food sector. This has an annual value of approximately £16 billion a year.

Councillor Humby continued: “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. 

“In Hampshire, we’ve been running our Smart Living campaign, promoting simple steps to encourage people not to buy more than they need and throw away less, in order to get more value for money out of their weekly food budget. 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.

“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.”

Hampshire County Council is committed to reducing food waste, and is a signatory to both Courtauld 2025 which aims to cut the resource needed to provide our food and drink by one-fifth over ten years, and Hubbub’s Joint Ambition For Zero Food Waste.

Following written evidence submitted last autumn, representatives from Hampshire County Council, Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority and LARAC (Local Authority Recycling Advisory Committee) will be giving oral evidence at the Parliamentary Committee for Environment, Food and rural Affairs (EFRA) on Wednesday 1 February. This session follows evidence from the UK’s leading supermarkets and food and drink federations, as well as WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme).

Full details of the Food Waste in England enquiry are available at:  www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/environment-food-and-rural-affairs-committee/inquiries/parliament-2015/food-waste-inquiry-16-17/

More information on Hampshire County Council’s Smart Living campaign is available at: www.hants.gov.uk/wasteandrecycling/smartliving