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Residents encouraged to help fight food waste and eat sustainably

14 October 2019

As part of a week of activity across London, the South London Waste Partnership boroughs (Croydon, Kingston, Merton and Sutton) will be hosting a series of ‘Give Food Waste a Fright’ pop-up events this week:

  • Tuesday 15 October (11am-4pm) – Surrey Street Market, Croydon
  • Wednesday 16 October (11am-4pm) – Sutton High Street
  • Thursday 17 October (11am – 4pm) – Kingston Market Place
  • Friday 18 October (11am-4pm) – Wimbledon Piazza

The events will highlight the scary number of perfectly edible pumpkins that end up in the bin each year. Visitors to the stand will be able to enjoy free pumpkin food samples, pick up some yummy pumpkin recipes, make a pledge to reduce their food waste and enter a competition to win £500 of shopping vouchers. For more details visit:

The South London Waste Partnership boroughs make up four of the 12 London boroughs taking part in the Small Change, Big Difference campaign, which aims to help Londoners make a big difference to their health, pockets and the planet by getting savvier with their food. The campaign is about eating more healthily and sustainably, reducing the amount of food wasted at home and recycling more of the inedible bits. The week of action (14-20 October 2019) is a celebration of the work that Londoners have done over the last two years as part of the campaign.

Councillor Stuart Collins, Chair of the South London Waste Partnership Joint Committee, said: 

“We are very proud to be championing the Small Change, Big Difference campaign. As Londoners throw away almost 910,000 tonnes of food each year, it is vital that campaigns such as these exist. We want to help our residents save money and live more sustainable lives by reducing and recycling food waste and during the week of action we’ll be providing tips showing just how making one or two small changes can make a big difference.”

Ali Moore, from the Small Change, Big Difference campaign, comments:

“By concentrating on small changes, such as freezing your bread or recycling banana skins, we can make a big difference – one recycled banana peel could generate enough electricity to charge your mobile phone twice! We’re looking forward to all of the South London Waste Partnership activities and are excited to have the boroughs taking part.”

Londoners are spending a whopping £1.4 billion each year on buying food, with councils paying around £50 million to dispose of it when it becomes waste. Not only is this waste environmentally damaging, but families could save up to £70 a month by slightly changing the way we shop, prepare, store and eat our food. We can also do our bit to help with climate change by reducing our food waste and changing the way we dispose of our food.*

For more information on the campaign go to  

Here are some tips from Small Change, Big Difference for how to prevent food waste, eat more healthily and recycle the inedible bits:

  1. Freeze half your loaf if you don’t always use it all. Pop the slices into your toaster straight from the freezer.
  2. Once you have opened your bagged lettuce – place it in a tub with kitchen roll to make it last longer.
  3. Eat from your freezer one day a week.
  4. Try canned veg in your cooking – it’s packed with vitamins and lasts longer.
  5. Did you know you can freeze eggs? Simply crack them into a bowl and either separate or whisk together.
  6. Take a ‘shelfie’ of your fridge before shopping to avoid doubling up on items.
  7. One recycled banana peel could generate enough electricity to charge a mobile phone twice.
  8. Any container can act as a caddy in your kitchen, so long as you put the food waste you collect in the correct council box or bin outside your property.
  9. Did you know you can recycle, bones, eggshells, fruit peelings and coffee grounds in your council food waste collection?
  10. Make healthy ice cream using frozen banana – simply freeze, slice and blend.


*  Research by WRAP, the not-for-profit sustainability organisation (see below)

Notes to editors:

Small Change, Big Difference is communicating key messages encouraging:

  • Better food purchasing and consumption habits to promote healthy and sustainable eating
  • Food waste prevention – avoiding good food ending up in the bin
  • Putting any food waste that is produced at home in a separate food waste bin to be recycled

Healthy sustainable eating

  • Food that’s good for your body is often good for the environment too. Beans, pulses, fruit and vegetables aren’t just packed full of the nutrients we need, they’re better for the planet too. These foods result in fewer emissions and generally require less water than animal products as well as keep your heart ticking over. Alternatively, go meat free one day a week and help reduce harmful greenhouse gases.

 Food waste prevention

  • It’s easy for the food in your fridge or cupboard to be forgotten. The use-by date arrives before you know it and you’ve failed (again) to make it last. But a few simple changes can help. Why not swap some of your fresh fruit and veg for frozen or canned? They’re rich in nutrients and last much longer. Or, freeze your bread and then pop it straight from the freezer to make toast and save all those slices that normally end up in the bin.

Food waste recycling

  • Recycling food is as important as any other type of recycling, so whether it’s banana peels, potato peelings or egg shells, every last bit of unavoidable food waste belongs in your caddy. So, let’s make it the norm, the default – a non-negotiable part of being a Londoner: something you’d do as naturally as stand on the right and walk on the left of an Underground escalator. Mind the waste.

Whilst the campaign is London-wide, twelve boroughs are receiving additional support to promote the Small Change, Big Difference campaign to their local residents. They are:

  • Hackney
  • Islington
  • Brent
  • City of London
  • Lewisham
  • Kingston upon Thames
  • Croydon
  • Merton
  • Sutton
  • Southwark
  • Lambeth
  • Richmond


TRiFOCAL London – Transforming City FOod hAbits for Life, is an initiative being led by Resource London – the partnership between WRAP and LWARB – together with Groundwork London. The organisations won a bid with the LIFE programme of the European Commission to deliver the initiative in London, which will be a test bed for other European cities.

About WRAP

First established in 2000, WRAP is a not for profit organisation and registered charity whose vision is a world where resources are used sustainably. WRAP works with governments, businesses and communities to deliver practical solutions to improve resource efficiency. Our mission is to accelerate the move to a sustainable resource-efficient economy through:

  1. re-inventing how we design, produce and sell products,
  2. re-thinking how we use and consume products, and

iii. re-defining what is possible through re-use and recycling


The London Waste and Recycling Board is a partnership of the Mayor of London and the London boroughs to improve waste and resource management. The city’s economic and environmental future depends on a transition to a low-carbon circular economy, and LWARB works to ensure that London’s businesses, local government and communities thrive by helping them make the very best use of resources and materials.

About Groundwork London
Groundwork London is a social and environmental regeneration charity (registered charity no. 1121105). For almost 20 years we’ve been at the forefront of environmental and social regeneration in London; changing places and lives for the better, in some of the capital’s most disadvantaged neighbourhoods. In today’s challenging social and economic climate, the work we do has never been more important; creating better places, improving people’s economic prospects and helping people to live and work in a more sustainable way.

Our three over-arching objectives are:

  •   Creating better places – supporting people to work collectively to make their surroundings greener, safer and healthier and be actively involved in the way decisions are made about services in their area.
  •   Promoting greener living and working – helping people and businesses learn more about their environmental impact and act responsibly to reduce natural resource use and improve their health.
  •   Improving people’s prospects – delivering support to increase the confidence, skills, well-being and employability of those furthest removed from the labour market, in particular young people.

For more information visit or follow us on Twitter @GroundworkLON or on Facebook

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