Council champions ‘choose what you’ll use’ initiative to combat food waste

Photo of various fruit and veg in canvas storage bags

West Lindsey District Council is proud to support Love Food Hate Waste’s Food Waste Action Week, underscoring its dedication to sustainability, waste reduction, and the well-being of the community.

With an average household of four losing around £1,000 each year to food waste, this campaign is a vital step toward helping residents save money and minimise waste, particularly through the encouragement of shopping for loose produce.

National campaign group WRAP revealed data indicating that 60,000 tonnes of household food waste could be avoided annually if produce was simply sold unpackaged. This amounts to over 8.2 million shopping baskets, or enough to fill 6,500 waste trucks; showcasing the substantial impact that changing shopping habits can have.

Cllr Stephen Bunney, Chair of the Council and its Environment and Sustainability Group, is encouraging West Lindsey residents to adopt the ‘choose what you’ll use’ mindset - especially by supporting local markets where fresh, loose produce is abundantly available. This approach not only helps reduce food waste, it also supports the local economy and reduces the carbon footprint by minimising food miles. 

The benefits of this simple choice include:

  • Substantial savings for households by cutting down on unused food purchases.
  • Prevention of 60,000 tonnes of food waste if essentials like apples, potatoes, and bananas are bought loose.
  • A reduction in plastic packaging waste by 8,800 tonnes annually.
  • Overall savings of more than 80,000 tonnes in CO2e emissions.

Emphasising the purchase of loose produce is part of WRAP’s comprehensive strategy to enhance public awareness of its benefits and to motivate retailers to offer more fresh, unpackaged produce options, reducing the need for unnecessary packaging and one that the council vehemently supports.

Cllr Bunney said: 

“Making the conscious decision to choose what we will use significantly reduces the amount of food that ends up in the bin. It is crucial for both retailers and consumers to embrace this practice. 

“Increasing the availability of loose fruits and vegetables not only cuts down on waste and decreases hard-to-recycle plastics, it also helps prevent tens of thousands of tonnes of CO2e emissions. Moreover, it aligns with consumer desires for more sustainable shopping options, creating a beneficial situation for everyone.”

To support Food Waste Action Week, West Lindsey District Council is posting content throughout the week on its social media channels, aimed at decreasing food waste across the district. These include educational efforts to highlight the advantages of purchasing loose produce, and the council supported local markets such as those at Caistor, Market Rasen and Gainsborough, where a wide selection of loose fruits and vegetables are always available. 

Steve Leary, Climate and Sustainability Lead at West Lindsey District Council, added: 

“Participating in Food Waste Action Week offers our community a prime opportunity to unite in making meaningful, positive adjustments to our lifestyles that not only save money but also protect our planet.

“By opting for what we’ll use, particularly at our local markets, we not only advance towards our net-zero carbon emissions goal but also enrich our community’s health and sustainability. Win-win.”

For further details on how to get involved in Food Waste Action Week and help reduce food waste, follow the councils social media channels, or please visit Food Waste Action Week #FoodWasteActionWeek

For the latest news on West Lindsey District Council visit our council news pages

Follow us on X (formerly known as Twitter), find us on Facebook, or sign up to our newsletter