Food Waste Feeds Climate Crisis

75% of Highlanders remain in the dark about emissions issue more damaging than plastic.

Zero Waste Scotland reveals just 1kg of food waste produces carbon emissions equivalent to landfilling 25k plastic bottles Zero Waste Scotland research, today, reveals that the vast majority (75%) of Highlanders are unaware that food waste can be an even bigger contributor to climate change than plastic waste.

The not-for-profit body found that sending just a single kilogram of food waste to landfill produces the same carbon emissions as landfilling a staggering 25,000 500ml plastic bottles.

They’re calling on Highland and Inverness-shire locals to take actions to reduce food waste, just as they are already doing for plastic.

As world leaders set to gather in Glasgow for The UN’s 26th Climate Change Conference (COP26) next month, the study shows that almost two thirds of Highland and Islanders (61%) think reducing plastic use in their home is the best way of reducing their carbon footprint, when, in fact, food waste releases more emissions.

The ‘Blue Planet effect’ in recent years has led to positive action to reduce the impact plastic has on the environment, from packaging-free shops to a forthcoming Scottish Government ban on common single-use plastic items.

Highlighting the hidden carbon cost of food that goes uneaten, Zero Waste Scotland is on a mission to do the same for food waste.

The environmental body has teamed up with globally renowned, celebrity photographer, Rankin, for a soon-to-be-revealed food waste photography series that turns the lens on the scale of Scotland’s food waste epidemic.

Iain Gulland, Chief Executive at Zero Waste Scotland, said:

“The sea change in attitudes to plastic over the last few years has been one of the most dramatic shifts in public consciousness around the environment we’ve ever seen.

“The same shift now needs to happen for food waste.

“Our research shows that most Highland and Islanders think they are doing what they can for climate change, but the majority are unaware of the massive impact of food waste.

“We know people want to do their bit for the environment so our message is this – the easiest way you can fight climate change is by reducing the amount of food you waste.

“It’s as simple as that.”

Calling on Highlanders to take small actions to reduce food waste, Zero Waste Scotland’s top tips include:

Shop savvy – Over half of the food we throw away can be eaten so meal planning will help both your pockets and the planet.

Push pause – Freezing your food and being smarter with storage can help make the food you buy last longer.

Love leftovers – Get creative in the kitchen with leftovers to make the most of excess ingredients.

More information can be found by clicking here.