Councils discuss how they can help you combat food waste at home

British council members join the Nation Food Waste Conference to discuss the best strategy for tackling food waste.

Representatives from the London Borough of Enfield and the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) spoke at the National Food Waste Conference, discussing how communication is paramount to successfully addressing food waste.

At the event, head of communications and behavioural change at GMCA, Michelle Whitfield, addressed the difficulties involved in implementing food waste schemes for those living in flats, which make up for 17% of the households in Manchester. Whitfield attributed the success of Greater Manchester’s recent scheme to the targeted approach to the ‘segments’ of the local populace.

Whitfield said: “Segmentation really allows us to understand the attitudes and behaviours of people, in this case in relation to recycling.

“It allows us to really understand what motivates people and what their values are, so we can then make changes.”

Based on the research conducted by WRAP, GMCA split Manchester’s population into six segments who shared the same habits and attitudes towards recycling. According to Whitfield, the data shows those who live in flats are more likely to be indifferent towards food waste recycling. Researchers say councils should offer marketing material focused on the perceived benefits recycling offers rather than how it helps to environment.

In the London borough of Enfield, food waste campaigners are offering information in a variety of languages as to accommodate for the large Turkish populations.

Jade Goodwin, strategic waste and recycling manager for the north London borough, said: “We used local press and especially ethnic press to engage with the local community. In Enfield we have a large Turkish community, so that was a really good thing to do.”

Hannah Dean-Wood, membership manager at the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA), concurred that for her clients the most successful schemes were those which had been tailored to their specific needs. Dean-Wood spoke at length about the RSA’s ‘Food Waste Bad Taste’ scheme, which walked businesses through how to implement food waste recycling using simple steps.

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