Date: December 2020

What is food waste?

From the crusts of your toast, that extra portion of curry you couldn’t manage, and to the last handful of salad left in the bottom of the bag - ‘food waste’ is all the food that doesn’t make its way to your mouth, but instead lands itself in the bin. You may think chucking those last few fries can’t do much harm, but sadly the impact we have is much bigger than a couple of left over chips. 

In the UK we throw away almost 6.5 million tonnes of food every year, and about 4.5 million tonnes of that is still edible! This could mean the produce is still fresh enough to eat, an extra portion could have been put in the freezer or even something as simple as leaving the skin on your potatoes. To put this into perspective, 4.5 million tonnes is enough to fill 38 million wheelie bins! Wasting food has fast become a bad habit which has come at a price for our purses and the planet.

But why is food waste so bad?

The agricultural industry and food waste have earned their place as a top contributor to global warming and the production of greenhouse gases. When you throw your food in the bin each week, it gets shipped to landfill. Not only does this take up precious space on our beautiful planet, but when food waste begins to rot, it releases methane - a greenhouse gas far more potent than carbon dioxide which is slowly killing our environment. With every unfinished meal or excess food thrown in the bin, we are contributing to climate change and wasting precious pounds. Reducing food waste means reducing global warming.

How can we reduce food waste?

So, now you know how food waste is effecting our world, now you need to know how to tackle it. Westbank are here to champion healthy lifestyle choices whilst fighting to tackle the reduction of food waste in our communities.

Here are our top tips for how you can do your bit to reduce your food waste footprint.

Plan your shop

One of the best ways to prevent food waste is to avoid buying more than we need. We can help reduce wasted veg and unused packets of goods by planning the meals you might have, working out what you need and writing a list. This stops you picking up things randomly - which will not only help to reduce your food waste but will actually save you money too!

Make delicious meals from excess food

Got some extra veg rolling about in the back of the cupboard or bottom of the fridge? Roast them up and make a hearty soup. Pop your ingredients into google and see what recipes come up. Get creative and challenge yourself to use up the food you already have in your home. If you are looking for some inspiration, see our online Community Cooking videos with talented volunteer, Chef Chris and learn step-by-step how to cook up a storm in the kitchen using up things you might normally throw away.

Freezer friends

Don’t think you will use all your food before it goes out of date? Pop it in the freezer and defrost it when you need. This gives you more time to eat the food rather than throwing it away. You can freeze most things from extra dinner portions, fresh fruit or veg on its way out, bread which can be toasted directly from frozen, even portions of milk for your tea.


Everyone has that tin of butter beans they purchased optimistically and didn’t know what to do with, maybe you bought a little too much pasta back in March or have recently turned vegetarian and don’t need that tin of tuna anymore. Instead of throwing it all away, give your waste a second chance and feed another family by donating it to the Westbank Community Larder.

Here at Westbank, we are committed to tackling food waste and keeping our community fed and healthy. This is why we have launched our Community Larder packed full of delicious goods which would otherwise go to waste for you to pop in and help yourself to when you need to. All the produce we offer is in-date and surplus food generously provided by donations and suppliers such as FareShare, Tesco and Riverford Organic. Tinned and packet goods, fresh fruit and veg all go towards feeding our community when available, helping people make healthy lifestyle choices and reducing food waste to protect our planet.

Help us to tackle food waste one packet of pasta at a time and donate your unwanted goods to Westbank Community Larder today. See where to find us and our opening times HERE.