Sprout power will be lighting the UK’s trees this Christmas

Reducing, reusing, and recycling the UK’s Christmas dinner plate scrapings and other festive leftovers this year would divert waste from landfill and power homes and businesses, according to research by Tamar Energy.

British households’ Christmas indulgence creates around 230,000 tonnes of additional food waste, the equivalent weight of 38 million turkeys, and most of it ends up rotting in landfill.

Campaigns such as ‘Love Food, Hate Waste’ offer advice on how to reduce food waste, particularly at Christmas, and innovative ways to recycle food leftovers in the form of other dishes.

But every year British households generate 1.5 million tonnes of food waste that is unavoidable, such as peelings, teabags, and bones.

If this unavoidable food waste was sent to anaerobic digestion (AD), it has the potential to generate up to 10% of the entire UK’s domestic gas needs.

Not only would this reduce the UK’s total greenhouse gas emissions by over 2% but also save local authorities money by avoiding costly landfill taxes.

AD also produces a nutrient rich biofertiliser that can replace environmentally damaging petro-chemical fertilisers.

If this happened across the entire country, the extra food waste over the festive period could make enough energy to light up 2.5 million Christmas trees or cook an additional 1.3 million Christmas dinners.

Dean Hislop, Tamar Energy CEO, wishes everyone a good holiday, but also hopes that the UK would reduce, reuse, and recycle more.

‘Reducing the amount of food we waste is something everyone can tackle this Christmas, as the increase at this time of year is quite frightening. Not everyone has access to a food recycling service, but where we do, it is wrong that unavoidable food waste is buried or burnt when it could be recycled into green energy and biofertiliser,’ says Hislop

‘Unavoidable leftovers such as plate scrapings are a massive untapped source of homegrown energy. By putting this in the food recycling caddy, we could all do our bit and together we can help light lots of homes over the festive period,’ he concludes.

As part of its campaign to raise awareness of the ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ message this festive period, Tamar Energy invites people to share their best leftover recipes on social media, using the hashtag #SeasonsEatings. 

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