Food Waste Action Week, 1 to 7 March 2021

Published on 1st March 2021

Picture of Earth overlaid with a rotting orange, with text to the right which reads 'wasting food feeds climate change'

Cheltenham residents are encouraged to join in the week of awareness and action to end food waste, save money and help tackle the climate emergency.

Residents are urged to help the council support the UK’s first ever Food Waste Action Week this week, from 1 to 7 March 2021.

With UK households wasting the equivalent of eight meals a week on average, the #FoodWasteActionChallenge aims to help reduce the amount of food wasted at home.

In 2019/20 residents in Cheltenham generated over 3,409 tonnes of food waste, collected by Ubico, the council’s environmental services partner.  So far in 2020/21, from 1 April 2020 to 31 January 2021, over 3,267 tonnes of food waste has been collected.

Small changes such as only buying the food that is needed, eating what has been bought, and correct food storage, all contribute to make a difference.

Cllr Chris Coleman, cabinet member clean and green environment, said: “70% of all wasted food in the UK comes from our homes. That’s 4.5 million tonnes of tasty food wasted every year.

“We are calling on everyone in Cheltenham to take part in the food waste action week to support what we are doing for the climate emergency and save money. Visit and foodwasteactionweek to find out how you can get involved.

“Look out for our three food waste vehicles which will soon be displaying new ‘wasting food feeds climate change’ messaging.”

For more information on Food Waste Action Week and how to get involved visit

For information on our Food Waste Action Week top tips in Cheltenham visit

The council declared a climate emergency last year (2020) and has an ambitious target of becoming a carbon neutral town by 2030. 

For more information on the council’s climate emergency work, visit the council’s website:

For media enquiries, contact: communications, telephone 01242 264332, email

Simple changes can help fight climate change (figures from WRAP):

  • 30% of global greenhouse gases come from producing our food, more than all commercial flights combined.
  • If food waste were a country, it would have the third-biggest carbon footprint after the USA and China.
  • If every UK household stopped wasting food for one day, it would do the same for greenhouse gas emissions as planting 640,000 trees per day (around 230 million per year). 
  • Almost 280 tonnes of poultry goes to waste in the UK every day, if we stopped wasting poultry, we could do the same for climate change as planting nearly 6.6 million trees every year.
  • We throw away the equivalent of 3.1 million glasses of milk every day. If we used every drop, we could do the same for climate change as planting nearly 6 million trees per year.
  • Every day 4.4 million potatoes go to waste in UK homes. If we all stopped wasting these potatoes it would do the same for greenhouse gas emissions as planting 5.4 million trees per year.
  • 20 million slices of bread are thrown away at home in the UK every day. If we stopped wasting bread, it would do the same for greenhouse gas emissions as planting 5.3 million trees per year.
  • 70% of food waste (post-farm gate) in the UK comes from households. But the good news is everyone can make a difference.

To take part in the Food Waste Action Week Challenge, people will be encouraged to share their top tips on Instagram using #FoodWasteActionChallenge and @lfhw_uk - from storing food, using up leftovers and making sure none of it ends up in the bin.

Food Waste Action Week has the support of all UK Governments and partner organisations across the UK. The campaign has forty strategic partners from retailers, food manufacturers, hospitality and food service businesses to local authorities and electrical manufacturers, who will organise special activities during the week.