WRAP’s first Food Waste Action Week alerts UK citizens to the link between wasting food and climate change

Not wasting food was high in the public mind during the inaugural Food Waste Action Week 2021. Partnering with celebrity cook, TV presenter and author Nadiya Hussain, Food Waste Action Week tackled food waste to help save the planet.

Spreading the message that ‘Wasting Food Feeds Climate Change,’ the Week set the British public a #FoodWasteActionChallenge to help reduce their household food waste. One in three UK adults heard or saw messaging about food waste during this first annual week of action, delivered by Love Food Hate Waste @lfhw_uk.

More than 135 businesses and organisations gave their support during the week, helping drive awareness nationwide through an array of public and social media activities that generated more than half a billion opportunities to see the campaign across all channels, including PR circulation and viewership. The centrepiece for the campaign was the hero video and hard-hitting social media graphics.

Plans are now underway for what Love Food Hate Waste confirms will be an annual event. Sarah Clayton, Head of Citizen Behaviour Change at WRAP, “Food Waste Action Week 2021 was an incredible success, especially considering the backdrop of the continuing pandemic. I thank all the businesses and organisations involved for their commitment during the Week, helping citizens make the link between wasting food and climate change.

“Wasting food is an issue that impacts us all, and we are all part of the problem. Our hope for this Week was to empower more people to be part of the solution – and it has. The fact that almost half of people who came across messaging about Food Waste Action Week have changed or plan to change their food waste behaviour is a great example of this. We are looking forward to making Food Waste Action Week 2022 an even greater success.”

Defra Food Waste Champion, Ben Elliot, said: “Food Waste Action Week 2021 was a fantastic success in raising awareness of the urgent issue of food waste and its links to climate change.

 “WRAP’s programme made a real difference in helping citizens reduce their carbon footprint by empowering us all to take practical steps to minimise the amount of unnecessary food waste.

 “We now need to redouble our efforts to encourage people to take action and to help fight climate change. I hope all of you across the food supply chain and beyond will join us for next year’s event.”

Food Waste Action Week encouraged people to adopt behaviours that help them make the most of the food they buy, for example, portion planning, correct storage and being creative with leftovers. The nation was set the challenge to share experiences of cutting food waste to as near to zero as possible, with tips posted across social media to help make food go further, and last longer, with competition prizes to be won.

With support from celebrity ambassador Nadiya Hussain, the campaign generated nearly 120 pieces of social content in total, helped by an army of social media influencers speaking to an online audience of more than two million people. The Week became the centre of news agenda as well, with 114 separate reports including 29 pieces of national news coverage, and 36 broadcast interviews including The World Service, BBC Breakfast, BBC News, ITV News, Channel Five News and Loose Women.

Forty strategic partners and many supporting partners also helped generate a wealth of activities to drive home the message that Wasting Food Feeds Climate Change. Full details can be seen on the Food Waste Action Week 2021 highlights video, and included actions such as Food Waste Action Week tips on in-store digital screens, competition prizes, livery on collection lorries, recipe videos and videos to show the resources that go into producing our food. With many company blogs, and over a thousand activities including tweets, webinars and articles from local authorities and universities, to the finance sector all helping to reach a huge audience and remind everyone that Wasting Food Feeds Climate Change.

Food Waste Action Week also joined forces with the hospitality and food service sector, with many businesses and organisations supporting the Week and sharing WRAP’s hospitality-facing Guardians of Grub campaign.

The Food Waste Action Week 2021 highlights video will be shared this month to illustrate its success and build momentum for Food Waste Action Week 2022, now confirmed for Monday 7th to Sunday 13th March 2022.

WRAP urges business to make sure this 2022 date is in their diary, so they too can start planning and be a part of the next high-profile citizen behaviour change campaign to reduce wasted food at home. To find out more and register your interest in getting involved as a partner, contact lfhw@wrap.org.uk In the meantime, head to Love Food Hate Waste’s Instagram @lfhw_uk for more inspiration on how you can amplify our key messages to citizens to help them reduce their household food waste.

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