UK – In a move towards bolstering sustainability efforts and combatting food waste, the UK Government has pledged £295 million (U.S$370 million) to councils in England.

The funds aims to facilitate weekly food waste collections across the country by 31 March 2026.

The allocated funding will primarily cover the costs of introducing new food waste containers for households and specialized collection vehicles. This targeted support is directed at local authorities that have yet to establish comprehensive food waste services, aiming to bridge gaps in waste management infrastructure.

Highlighting the urgency of the initiative, the UN Environment Programme notes that globally, one-third of all food is wasted.

In the UK alone, over ten million tonnes of food are wasted annually, with a portion ending up in landfills.

By implementing separate collections of food waste from every household, contamination of other recyclable waste can be prevented, while diverting food waste to anaerobic digestion facilities helps in harnessing sustainable energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The redirection of food waste to anaerobic digestion plants not only prevents needless landfill loss but also contributes significantly to sustainable energy generation. This renewable energy source can power homes and businesses, ultimately cutting down more than 18 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions linked with food waste.

Robbie Moore, the UK Recycling Minister, emphasizes the importance of weekly food waste collections in creating a more straightforward and effective recycling system. This move aligns with broader goals of waste reduction and climate change mitigation.

Claire Shrewsbury, Director of Insights and Innovations at WRAP, emphasizes the positive impact of weekly food waste collections on public awareness and behavioral change. When individuals witness the amount of food waste in their homes, they are motivated to take action, leading to reduced waste and increased recycling rates.

The funding, part of the government’s Simpler Recycling initiative, aims to harmonize recycling practices across England. By ending the confusion surrounding recycling rules, this initiative seeks to promote consistent recycling behaviors nationwide.

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