Green MEP welcomes food waste crackdown

Keith Taylor, Green Party MEP for the South East, is welcoming the adoption of ambitious EU food waste targets by the European Parliament this afternoon.

MEPs voted in favour of the EU’s Circular Economy package that calls for a target of 30% reduction in food waste by 2025 and 50% by 2030 . The targets are part of a larger package that will see the EU move towards a circular economy that promotes greater sustainable use of limited resources and aims to reduce waste and avoid pollution.

MEPs voted to support these targets alongside progressive targets for marine litter, general waste recycling, and a limit on the amount of waste that finds its way to landfill.

Mr Taylor, who recently visited the innovative FareShare food redistribution charity in Southampton to see how EU funding was helping to turn food waste into nutritious meals for vulnerable people, said:

“I am pleased to join a majority of MEPs today who have voted for an ambitious plan for tackling a food waste issue that in the UK alone sees £13bn worth of household food needlessly wasted every year. And, in the UK, it’s a problem that is growing; the latest figures show that an estimated 7.3m tonnes of household food waste was thrown away in 2015 – up from 7m tonnes in 2012.”

“That’s around 7 million tonnes of perfectly good food that is sent to landfill every year in the UK. The environmental cost of this needless wastage is massive. Around 19 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions are associated with food waste, annually.”

“The targets adopted today could benefit the UK by helping take the carbon emissions equivalent of 1 in 4 cars off the roads.”

“The circular economy package is a clear example of the need to work closely with our European neighbours on critically important issues that have no respect for national borders. As the EU moves towards a circular economy which can both help the EU meet its climate commitments and boost national economies and employment, the UK is watering down its recycling ambitions and hurtling towards an extreme Brexit.”

“Theresa May must reverse her damaging decision to cut recycling targets and the Government must commit to maintaining the closest possible relationship with our European allies post-Brexit and keeping pace with the EU’s ambitious circular economy targets.”