This Food Waste Action Week, Somerset Council and SUEZ are helping the county’s Local Pantry members go the extra mile to reduce food waste.

Fridges set to the correct temperature can help food stay fresh for up to three days longer. Somerset Council and SUEZ recycling and recovery – the Council’s collections contractor – are providing a fridge thermometer to every food pantry member, helping families to keep their food at a cool 0°c to 5°c.

It’s not just keeping your fridge cool that can help prevent food waste, the nationwide ‘Love Food Hate Waste’ campaign shares simple tips that can help everyone make the most of their food:

  • Create a weekly meal plan
  • Check your portions to avoid uneaten leftovers
  • Don’t put hot food straight in the fridge, let it cool first so it doesn’t increase the temperature
  • Keep fruit and vegetables in the fridge – it makes them last longer
  • Create an ‘eat me first’ space in the fridge – so you can keep tabs on food that needs using up

Cllr Dixie Darch, Executive Lead Member for Climate and Environment at Somerset Council said:

“Simple steps can help to prevent food waste, and importantly save money. We want to help families avoid unnecessary food waste, a simple way to start is by checking your fridge is at the correct temperature.

“When stored correctly, fresh food could last up to three days longer, providing opportunity to feed the family – and not the bin!”

Some food waste is unavoidable, it’s always best to use up what you can, but if it must go then recycling food waste is the next best thing.

Households in Somerset can recycle their food at the kerbside, with their weekly recycling collection. Last year 23,000 tonnes of food waste was recycled – but the waste in the general rubbish bins were filled with 21% food waste.

Food waste in Somerset is recycled in the county, via anaerobic digestion – it’s turned into fertiliser for farms and electricity that goes into the national grid.

According to ‘Love Food, Hate Waste’, a staggering 60% of the UK’s food waste come from our homes – that’s eight meals a week!

Food pantries in Somerset are thriving, with nine up and running across the county. The nine Local Pantries do a brilliant job of diverting surplus food from shops and local allotments, saving food which would have otherwise been thrown out.

Lily Morton, SUEZ recycling and recovery said:

“We are really pleased to be able to partner with the Somerset Local Pantry network. We hope that we can encourage their members to think about reducing food waste at home. This not only helps the environment but will also help people save money by stopping still good food going in the bin!

“Producing food and food products requires a huge amount of resources. This is why it’s particularly important to reduce food waste and where you can’t reduce, make use of the kerbside food waste recycling.”

The Local Pantry logo.

About this article

March 18, 2024


Local pantries

Press Release