Welsh Government aims to halve food waste by 2025

The Welsh Government has announced ambitious plans to have food waste by 2025.

The Welsh cabinet secretary, Lesley Griffiths said she intends to launch a consultation shortly on a non-statutory target for Wales to have food waste by that date.

Ms Griffiths made the announcement ahead of a meeting with her Scottish counterpart, Roseanna Cunningham.

The Scottish Government already has a target of reducing food waste by 33% by the same date.

Recent figures published by WRAP show the amount of household food waste in Wales has fallen by 12% between 2009 and 2015, and is current 9% lower than the rest of the UK.

The meeting between the two ministers also comes a week before the release of provisional waste statistics for 2016/17, where the Welsh Government expects to improve on last year’s rate of 60%.

‘In Wales, we are well on our way to achieving our ambitious target to become a zero waste nation by 2050,’ said Ms Griffiths.

‘Recycling is at an all-time record high and our 60% recycling rate is bettered by just two other countries in the world.

‘We are keen to build on this success and one area where we believe improvements can be made is food waste,’ she added.

‘If just half of all the food and dry recyclables found in Wales’ bins were recycled, Wales would reach its 2025 recycling target of 70% nine years early.

‘The consultation I intend to launch will examine the potential to halve food waste by 2025. It is an ambitious target but I know, from our recycling performance in recent years, when we work closely with local authorities and householders we can achieve results that make the world stand up and take notice.’

Ms Cunningham said food waste currently costs Scotland around £1bn a year.

‘Through our Love Food Hate Waste campaign to encourage people to reduce waste in their homes, the roll out of a doggy bag scheme in restaurants and the introduction of legislation which requires local authorities to provide food waste recycling points, we are working with households, retailers and the industry to help reach our target,’ said the Scottish minister.

The two ministers also discussed their concerns that the UK government’s EU Withdrawal Bill will damage efforts to protect and enhance the environment.

‘My message has been clear and consistent – the Scottish Government will steadfastly adhere to its environmental commitments, despite the growing threat of a hard Brexit. That is why we are joining with our Welsh counterparts to urge the UK government to ditch this ill-conceived power grab,’ added the Scottish minister.

‘Imposing a UK-wide framework for the environment risks undermining the significant progress Scotland has made, which has seen us win international recognition for our work on climate change and the circular economy.’

The director WRAP Cymru, Peter Maddox welcomed the Welsh Government’s plans.

‘This is one of the key issues of our generation,’ said Mr Maddox. ‘It is a complex challenge for which there is no single solution.

‘It is why we have called for everyone involved – governments, businesses and consumers – to play their part and unite in the food waste fight. At WRAP Cymru, and with our colleagues in the Love Food Hate Waste campaign, we are ready to support the Welsh Government in realising this ambitious goal.’

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Jamie Hailstone

Jamie Hailstone

journalist

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