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Residents of Northampton are throwing away twice war time food rations!

November 15, 2007 8:00 PM

Waste foodLiberal Democrats in Northampton are backing a campaign to encourage people to cut food waste after learning that around 22,400 tonnes of food are thrown away each year by local residents.

Most of the food is usable but instead of ending up on the dinner plate, it ends up in landfill sites.

Environmental campaign group Waste and Resource Action Programme (WRAP) revealed that the UK bins 6.7 million tonnes of food a year - 112kg per person.

"The figures for the amount of perfectly good food we throw away are quite shocking," said Andrew Simpson, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate for Northampton North Constituency. "They show that most people throw away more than their own body weight in perfectly good food each year.

"Liberal Democrats did some calculations to illustrate just how wasteful society now is with food. Sixty years ago, at the end of the 2nd World War, most foods were rationed.

"An adult was entitled to 200 grams of sugar, 100 grams of preserves, 200 grams of fats, 50 grams of cheese, 100 grams of bacon and 50 grams of tea a week. The total weight was 700 grams though that excludes 2 other products that were rationed but not weighed - one egg and 2 pints of milk a week.

"In a year, basic weighed rations were 36kg. That means we now throw away more than twice the basic rations people survived on sixty years ago.

"WRAP has found that nine out of ten people are currently not aware of the quantity of food they throw out but when it is brought to their attention, most want to do something about it.

"There are some basic ways to avoid food waste which WRAP recommend people adopt. For example, work out what food you need and write a shopping list, rather than making choices when going around the supermarket. People can also make more use of their fridge, freezer or air tight boxes rather than leaving food out in the open where it goes off quicker.

"Residents of Northampton spend £133 each on food that is thrown away each year. That's £133 each of us throws into a landfill site.

"The amount of waste people produce is a growing problem. It costs council tax payer a large amount to collect and then dispose of the waste. And in landfill sites, waste food rots and gives off methane, a strong greenhouse gas that is causing global warming.

"We each have to play our part in protecting the environment. By avoiding wasting food, we can save money as well!"

Local Liberal Democrats are encouraging residents of Northampton to visit http://www.lovefoodhatewaste.com/ for handy tips on saving money and avoiding waste.


Notes to editors

WRAP estimate 6.7 million tonnes of food is wasted every year in the UK, costing £8 billion.

Figures on rationing can be found in Peter Hennessey Never Again - Britain 1945-51 p49

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