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Manifesto launch lays out the future for food waste in the UK

Document challenges food waste sector to eradicate landfill-bound food waste by 2020

A manifesto which outlines how the UK could eliminate food waste from landfill by 2020 was unveiled in London today (28th February). The document, entitled ‘Vision 2020 – the future of the food waste recycling sector,’ has been written by the PDM Group, the UK’s largest food waste recycler, and details the different steps that it feels need to be undertaken to enable Britain to eradicate food waste to landfill.

Currently, up to 20 million tonnes of food waste is sent to landfill each year according to official figures. With landfill space and fossil fuels running out, the potential for food waste to be used as a fuel for renewable energy generation is growing in importance. Therefore, effectively tackling food waste on a national scale will make a significant difference to the UK’s environmental objectives.

The ten point manifesto has been compiled to challenge thinking and provoke debate amongst industry stakeholders – including government, retailers, business and householders – about how the sector can best tackle the problem posed by food waste. PDM intends the manifesto to be a ‘stake in the ground’ to encourage the industry to come together, discuss the challenges and opportunities and develop a way forward so that the UK has an infrastructure in place to recycle all the food waste we produce throughout the food chain.

“The manifesto outlines a number of areas which need to be addressed if Britain is to remove food waste from landfill by the year 2020,” said Philip Simpson, commercial director at PDM. “We hope it will prompt debate in the sector and drive thought about how the industry can come together and deal with the UK’s bourgeoning food waste problem.”

The document focuses on a variety of key areas, including:

  • Banning food waste from landfill as a driver to force businesses to change their practices
  • Tax rebates for those recycling waste in the run up to a landfill ban
  • Solutions for dealing with household waste
  • Greater support for planning approval for new recycling facilities
  • Portfolio of solutions to reduce risk of creating other waste streams and not being able to manage food chain crises

“While a total landfill ban will be needed if we are to truly capture the vast majority of food waste produced in the UK, other drivers will have to be put in-place to encourage participation and adoption amongst consumers and businesses alike,” continued Simpson. “Organisations will need greater encouragement to separate and recycle their waste, such as tax breaks, while more thought will be needed around collections to get the consumer on-side. Without such incentives, many will say that there is limited motivation for them to get involved.

“But incentives are just a small part of any approach and we need to address a number of factors around the argument – from planning permission to securing waste stream tonnages – if we are going to truly make food waste recycling a mainstay of daily life. We are not suggesting that the manifesto holds all the answers but we are hoping that the points raised will be a catalyst to help take the sector to the next level and eventually eliminate food waste from landfill by the year 2020,” concluded Simpson.

As part of the launch of its Vision 2020 manifesto, PDM is inviting businesses throughout the food chain to sign up and demonstrate their commitment to eradicating food waste from landfill. Interested businesses can do this at www.pdm-group.co.uk/vision_2020.

PDM is the UK’s largest food waste recycler that offers an integrated national collection service for all types of food waste from every part of the food chain. The company operates a portfolio of recycling solutions including rendering, biomass to energy and pet food ingredients is currently investing in a network of AD plants. Each year, PDM recycles more than one million tonnes of food waste.

To download a copy of PDM’s Vision 2020: the future of the food waste recycling sector, visit http://www.pdm-group.co.uk/vision_2020