€3.2m London project to target food waste prevention and recycling alongside healthy eating

6th September 2016

A new London-wide behaviour change initiative could save Londoners £330m, reduce avoidable food waste in the capital and increase awareness of more healthy and sustainable eating. 

London households throw away an estimated 900,000 tonnes of food each year, of which 540,000 tonnes could have been eaten. Not only is this environmentally damaging but it’s a huge waste of money for consumers, local authorities and businesses*. 

TRiFOCAL London – Transforming City FOod hAbits for Life, is the latest initiative to be led by Resource London - the partnership between WRAP and LWARB - together with Groundwork London.  The organisations bid for and won €3.2million from the European Commission* to deliver the initiative in London, which will be a test bed for other European cities.  

For the first time messages on how Londoners can reduce the amount of food they waste will be joined up with messages on how they can recycle the food waste that couldn’t be avoided, whilst also integrating messages about healthy sustainable eating. This is an exciting opportunity to help Londoners make changes for the better.  By the end of the initiative, a ‘food waste behavioural change resource bank’ will be developed, which can be used to help other European cities replicate the achievements of London. 

The initiative aims to use innovative approaches to:

1. Prevent food waste by changing planning, shopping, storage and meal preparation behaviour

2. Promote healthy and sustainable eating by changing purchasing and preparation practices 

3. Recycle more unavoidable food waste

Starting in September 2016 and running for three years, TRiFOCAL will engage with 33 London boroughs including householders, hospitality and food service businesses, local communities and schools.  It will use a range of communications approaches, including events, advertising and direct engagement with residents.

Antony Buchan, Head of Programme at Resource London, said:  “TRiFOCAL London represents a fantastic opportunity for Resource London to look at the bigger picture around food: what we consume in London, and how we deal with the unavoidable food waste that’s generated. We want to help Londoners consume food more sustainably, save money and get a bit healthier by doing it, and then use their food recycling services more effectively. TRiFOCAL will build on the work we’ve done with Recycle for London and the Little Wins Love Food Hate Waste campaign. It delivers an exciting new chapter in making the capital greener.” 

Lindy Kelly, Groundwork London's Executive Director said: “Groundwork London delivers many innovative projects that help Londoners to live and work more sustainably, so we’re incredibly pleased to be part of TRiFOCAL. It is an exciting project that will have a positive impact on people's health and wellbeing as well as reducing food waste in the capital. We'll be working closely with communities and schools, helping both adults and children to make more informed food choices that are healthier and less wasteful."

TRiFOCAL will build on a number of existing materials and research. This includes food waste reduction research insights, London waste authority data on food waste recycling, good practice guidance and communications materials produced as part of WRAP’s consumer campaigns Love Food Hate Waste and Recycle Now, as well as Recycle for London.  

If you are interested in being involved or receiving updates on the project, please contact TRiFOCAL@wrap.org.uk. 


Notes to editors:

* London waste authorities spend over £50million a year reprocessing and disposing of food waste; and consumers spend £1.4billion a year buying the food and drink they throw away.

**TRiFOCAL is only the second Information & Communication LIFE project in the UK, and just eight have been funded in Europe.

Resource London will focus on reaching householders and businesses, whilst Groundwork London will target schools and community groups.  

Useful stats:

  • London’s households throw away an estimated 900,000 tonnes of food each year, of which 540,000 tonnes is avoidable. 
  • The cost to London waste authorities of reprocessing/disposing of this food waste is estimated at over £50million per annum.
  • It costs consumers £1.4billion per year to purchase the food and drink thrown away in London, generating the equivalent of 2.1 million tonnes of CO2e emissions. 
  • Food is being wasted in the hospitality and food service sector through kitchens and when people are eating out or on-the-go. In the UK, 75% of food thrown away by the Hospitality and Food service sector could have been eaten by humans, that’s one in every 6 meals served. 
  • For schools, WRAP’s research identified that around 80% of food waste was avoidable across both primary and secondary schools.

About Resource London: Resource London is a partnership programme formed by LWARB and WRAP, the waste and resources charity. The new programme supports London boroughs to deliver more consistent and efficient waste and recycling services for London. The partnership represents a one-agency approach providing specific, focused and tailored regional and local support for London waste authorities. The Resource London programme went live in April 2015.

About WRAP: WRAP’s vision is a world where resources are used sustainably. It works in partnership with governments, businesses, trade bodies, local authorities, communities and individuals looking for practical advice to improve resource efficiency that delivers both economic and environmental benefits.

Our mission is to accelerate the move to a sustainable resource-efficient economy through:

a. re-inventing how we design, produce and sell products,

b. re-thinking how we use and consume products, and

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

First established in 2000, WRAP is a registered charity. WRAP works with UK governments and other funders to help deliver their policies on waste prevention and resource efficiency. WRAP is a registered Charity No 1159512 and registered as a Company limited by guarantee in England & Wales No 4125764. Registered office at Second Floor, Blenheim Court, 19 George Street, Banbury, Oxon, OX16 5BH.  Visit www.wrap.org.uk for more information or follow on Twitter @WRAP_UK

About LWARB: The London Waste and Recycling Board (LWARB), chaired by the Mayor of London (or his representative), working in conjunction with the Mayor’s office and London Councils, has a remit to improve waste management in the capital. For more information on LWARB visit www.lwarb.gov.uk 

About Groundwork London:  

Groundwork London is a social and environmental regeneration charity. 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. We currently support thousands of households each year in saving, energy, money and water in their homes and operate a number of community reuse hubs which enable the repair and reuse of furniture and white goods, contributing to 'closing the loop' on product lifecycles.  For more information visit www.groundwork.org.uk/london or follow us on Twitter @GroundworkLON or on Facebook www.facebook.com/GroundworkLondon Groundwork London is a registered charity - No. 1121105

For media enquiries: please contact Clare Usher, WRAP PR Officer, 01295819619 / clare.usher@wrap.org.uk 


Clare Usher

PR Officer
01295 819678