Food waste is a serious issue. For every meal eaten in a UK restaurant, nearly half a kilo of food is wasted – through preparation, spoilage and what’s left behind on the plate.
We’re throwing out a whopping 600,000 tonnes of food waste from restaurants every year, most of it filling up scarce landfill space. As well as the cost to the environment, this waste is costing us – restaurants and diners – a fortune.
The Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA) launched Too Good To Waste after carrying out the first systematic research of food waste in UK restaurants. The resulting 2010 Food Waste Survey Report and 2011 consumer research into attitudes towards food waste were very revealing and Too Good To Waste aims to tackle head-on some of the problems uncovered.
Too Good To Waste launched in London on October 5 2011, with the aim of raising both consumer and industry awareness about the appalling scale of restaurant food waste, alongside offering viable alternatives for diners and restaurants:
Think inside the box!
For Diners – Show you’re a lover not a leaver
Too Good To Waste introduces diners to the ‘doggy box’, making it not just acceptable, but positive for diners to ask to take their leftover food home.
For Restaurants – Box up, don’t bin
Too Good To Waste coordinates restaurant action by providing simple advice on how to reduce food waste, including prep waste and spoilage, and supplying doggy boxes for restaurants to box up, rather than bin leftovers. All of the free boxes were used up, but you can purchase Too Good To Waste branded boxes from London Bio Packaging. What’s more mention SRA and you’ll get a 10% discount.
SRA research revealed that on average a UK restaurant produces 21 tonnes of food waste annually, the equivalent of three double-decker buses!
We estimate that 30% comes off diners’ plates – that’s a lot of leftovers. But the problem can be tackled and we believe a 20% or 42,000 tonne reduction in food waste across London is achievable – meaning a lot less will go to landfill.