Over the Halloween period in the UK, more than 18,000 tonnes of edible pumpkins are wasted, the majority of which are sent to landfill.

London-based food distributor Hubbub started its #PumpkinRescue campaign in 2014. Since then, over 23 towns across the UK have adopted the initiative.

Food waste is also a local problem; over one-third of annual rubbish in Brighton is food waste. An average family of four can waste as much as £680 per year on wasted food, according to Brighton and Hove City Council. Aside from financial waste, this food goes to landfill with 50% made up of fresh fruit and vegetables.

Approximately 16 million tonnes of food waste ends up in UK landfill every year, contributing to around 20% of the country’s CO2 emissions.

Numerous campaigns and projects throughout Brighton work to tackle this problem. Brighton and Hove City Council have their own Love Food Hate Waste campaign, through which they guide the public on how best to store food, recycle efficiently and compost.

The Real Junk Food Project is an international organisation whose primary aim is “to intercept food waste destined for landfill and use it to feed people who need it, on a ‘pay as you feel’ basis”.

The group has a Brighton-based ‘Food Waste Hub’ where the public can make donations for intercepted and gleaned food from fresh fruit and vegetables to dried goods and Higgidy pies.

The Real Junk Food Project also runs several cafes in Brighton, serving food that would have otherwise gone to landfill. Again, customers can ‘pay as they feel’; saving them money and reducing food waste.

Fareshare Sussex is another group dedicated to tackling the food waste epidemic. The organisation intercepts companies’ excess food and delivers it to Brighton’s homeless. On November 22 this year the campaign will be celebrating 15 years of working to fight food waste.

Brighton and Hove Food Partnership also runs its Surplus Food Network; a collaboration of groups working with companies to distribute would-be-wasted food to those in need in Brighton.

At the beginning of this year, the University signed up to the Too Good To Go App, through which students can collect would-be-wasted food for discounted prices at the end of the trading day. Eat Central is the University’s largest contributor to the App, offering ‘mystery boxes’ available between 8pm-8:15 pm. The program is part of the University’s aim to cut carbon emissions by 45% by 2020. A number of Brighton restaurants also offer this service via the App.

Supermarkets Tesco, Aldi, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose were unable to source their data on the pumpkin wastage of their Brighton stores.

Image Credit: Katie Kenyon

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