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26 December 2012

New Figures Demonstrate Progress Towards Food and Drink Recycling

New figures have revealed the extent of the progress that has been made by Scotland’s local authorities towards drastically reducing the amount of food and drink that is wasted every year.

A newly answered Parliamentary Question has revealed that 17 of Scotland’s 32 local authorities now provide a household food waste collection service, with 6 of these councils offering a service that covers every single household in their area. The same answer has revealed that a further seven local authorities plan to introduce such collection services in 2013.

An estimated one fifth of food and drink in Scotland ends up being thrown away, unnecessarily wasting £430 a year on average for every household in Scotland.

Commenting, SNP MSP Stewart Stevenson said:

“Christmas is traditionally a time when people celebrate and eat well, but at a time of excess it is worth stopping to think about what happens when we waste food and drink. Households who are spending more than they need to on food are facing an unneeded financial drain on their resources.

“The cost of wasting food and drink quickly adds up and costs every household in Scotland an average of £430 a year.

“That is completely unnecessary and is money that people can ill afford during these difficult financial times, so it is essential that local authorities do all they can to assist people in reducing food waste.

“The fact that seventeen of Scotland’s local authorities are now collecting food waste separately is a significant step forward and that is only set to grow substantially as at least a further seven councils will offer these services next year.

“Some excellent progress has been achieved so far, but we all have a responsibility to do more if we are to reduce food waste down to a sustainable level.”

Note: The following Parliamentary Question was asked by Stewart Stevenson MSP:

Question S4W-11778: Stewart Stevenson, Banffshire and Buchan Coast, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 07/12/2012

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S4W-08584 by Richard Lochhead on 1 August 2012, how many local authorities provide a food waste recycling service and how many are preparing to do so in 2013.

Answered by Richard Lochhead (18/12/2012):

Currently, 17 local authorities provide a household food waste collection service. Six of these local authorities offer a service covering all households, whilst the remainder offer a partial service. Six of the councils currently operating a partial service have plans to extend coverage in 2013. At this time a further seven local authorities plan to introduce household food waste collections in 2013.

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