- A new citywide initiative in London called Transforming City Food Habits for Life (TRiFOCAL) aims to address wasteful behaviors through education on food waste, as reported by Resource.
- Local households throw away an estimated 900,000 metric tons of food waste per year and 540,000 metric tons of that is edible. This costs an estimated £50 million (approx. $66.6 million USD) to process and dispose.
- The three-year initiative will be led by Resource London with support from environmental charity Groundwork London. The European Union is providing €3.2 million (approx. $3.6 million USD) in funding.
TRiFOCAL aims to save residents, businesses and schools potentially £330 million (approx. $438.6 million USD) per year by helping develop more sustainable systems. All of the behavioral data collected over the next three years will then be used to help other European cities reduce their own waste and greenhouse gas emissions.
The plan is to reach people through events, advertising and direct engagement. Better planning, shopping, storage and meal preparation will all be part of the educational campaign to help connect waste reduction with healthy living. This approach has been used in U.S. cities such as Charlotte and could be a good way to help people see the personal benefits of thinking more about their food waste — which aren't always understood.
London's new mayor, Sadiq Khan, has pledged to make London "one of the world's greenest cities" and efforts are underway to reduce recycling contamination throughout the country. The results of this multi-year initiative will be an interesting addition to the growing body of research around food waste reduction strategies and could provide a useful model for other cities looking to do the same.