With over 150 registrations, the ‘Convert Food Waste to Cash’ business event this month was a great success. Attendees on the day represented a wide range of industries from several countries around the world. Local authorities, packaging suppliers, food producers, supermarkets, fast food chains, hotels and business groups were present.
Food Waste Research
Our event commenced with a report from RED C on the recent survey Cré undertook to examine commercial food waste recycling in Ireland. Sara Eslami, RED C Research, explored the findings that assessed attitudes and behaviors among businesses in relation to food waste disposal. She reported that the majority of those surveyed were activity engaged in managing their food waste.
EU Green Deal
We were delighted to welcome Philip Nugent, Assistant Secretary, Natural Resources and Waste Policy Department of Climate Action, Communication Networks and Transport. Philip spoke to us regarding how food waste will be treated in the forthcoming waste action plan. He stated that wasting food is a global challenge and outlined how the new waste policy will address this. Food waste reduction targets and specific actions to reduce food waste will be included.
Some actions also included will be to increase the provision of brown bins, giving people more information, increasing education and awareness, new attention to labelling best before and use by. The aim is to prevent food waste at all stages of the product life cycle.
Opportunities in Certification
Percy Foster, Chief Executive Officer, Cré Composting and Anaerobic Digestion Associated of Ireland explored new opportunities for certified compostable materials and food waste recycling. Cré certification gives assurance to customers around the compostable packaging that manufacturers sell. The logo will reduce confusion for consumers, ensure easy identification, and give them the confidence that this packaging can be composted via food waste bins in Ireland.
Commercial Waste Awareness
We then welcomed Sinead Ni Mhainnin, Connaught-Ulster Regional Waste Office who gave a highly informative presentation exploring the new commercial waste awareness campaign. This has been introduced to assist businesses in managing their food waste. She presented the new commercial waste awareness toolkit which is hoped to increase composting and recycling rates. Materials and assets include posters, bin labels, signage, infographics, checklists, animations, webpage and other advertising material. The assets aim to be easy and quick to understand and memorable. It is already recognised as a welcome step in reducing food waste.
If you want to see the presentations in full, you can watch a recording of the sessions here