Britain Banning Food Waste from Landfills?

It’s hard to argue against keeping food waste out of landfills (where it yields the climate-changing methane emissions). Figuring out how to make that a national reality is just plain hard.

With Vision 2020: The Future of Food Waste Recycling, PDM Group and ReFood have done just that for the UK. As this helpful summary article mentions, the report provides a road map for separating out food waste and the infrastructure for handling it.

A national ban on landfilling food waste is central to the 2020 vision. If it has happened in Germany, Sweden, Norway and Denmark (and Massachusetts, Connecticut and Vermont have future bans in place), the authors argue, why not Britain? Indeed, there’s no reason this program can’t succeed, especially with the national and local government support.

I was pleased to see mention of waste reduction as essential to the plans, even if it did feel like a bunch of suggestions for retailers and manufacturers. Equally exciting: pushing the need to educate the public on food waste issues. In particular, the report impelled Britain to teach school children about food waste issues (and that’s where it’s really handy having a National Curriculum).

In case you’re curious, PDM produces “products for use in human and animal foodstuffs, agriculture, aquaculture and industrial applications” and ReFood recycles food. It’s worth noting that, as an AD company, ReFood has a bias and a material interest in a landfill ban on food waste. I don’t see that as a major issue, though, as biodigestion should be a part of any food waste infrastructure.

In the end, this report and the corresponding discussion of a landfill food waste bin could be the start of something big. And it’s hard to call that anything but positive.

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