The county council is taking positive steps in its quest to become a cleaner, greener, and healthier county by backing a national campaign to reduce food and drink waste.
The council is a signatory for the Courtauld agreement – led by the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP).
This ambitious ten-year voluntary agreement brings together organisations across the food system – from producer to consumer – to make food and drink production more sustainable.
The council is continuing to support the agreement and ongoing efforts have seen food waste collections introduced at its County Hall, Glenfield food court.
It also supports annual campaigns and events, such as Love Food Hate Waste and Food Waste Action Week - centred around encouraging people to make the most of the food they buy.
Leicestershire Traded Services Catering are also Gold Award holders of the Food for Life award, which acknowledges the steps schools take to make healthy eating easier and to use local ingredients in their meals.
Residents are encouraged to get involved by minimising their food and drink waste as well as reducing their carbon footprint.
There are a range of initiatives available to enable residents to take steps to reduce their food waste including signing up to zero waste cooking classes via www.leicestershire.gov.uk/golearn .
The council is also hoping to attract people to become an environmental action volunteer in a bid to spread the green message around food waste prevention as well as topics such as recycling and biodiversity.
It also offers funding to community kitchen projects which help residents reduce their household waste, and schools can also access free talks and workshops about food waste prevention.
Further details on both these initiatives can be found at www.lesswaste.org.uk
The Courtauld agreement is now stepping up a gear to ensure the targets highlight the links between greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, water consumption and waste challenges ahead of the year 2030.
The new targets set out in the agreement are:
- 50 per cent reduction in food and drink waste in the UK per person (against a 2007 baseline).
- 50 per cent absolute reduction in the GHG emissions associated with the production and consumption of food and drink in the UK.
- 50 per cent of fresh food is sourced from areas with sustainable water management.
As we look ahead to the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) later in the year, and work towards our target to become a net zero county by 2045, it’s important that both the council and its residents look to reduce their food waste, greenhouse gas emissions and water consumption, in line with the Courtauld 2030 targets.
Everyone can help to raise awareness of these issues and together we can do our bit to combat climate change locally to create a cleaner, greener and healthier LeicestershirePerson:Councillor Blake Pain, cabinet member for the environment and green agenda
For more tips about how to be more sustainable, you can also visit www.facebook.com/LeicestershireRecycling/