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Can you cut it? New eco campaign helps busy workers scrap lunchtime waste

PUBLISHED: 00:00 14 May 2019

The scheme helped businesses across the region cut down on single-use plastics and food waste Picture: GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCKPHOTO

The scheme helped businesses across the region cut down on single-use plastics and food waste Picture: GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCKPHOTO

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Hungry workers across the region are being asked to rethink their lunch habits after a trial scheme helped dozens of employees cut their food and packaging waste by more than 50%.

The #FoodSavvy Lunch Club, run by Suffolk and Norfolk councils and environmental charity Hubbub, is today launching a brand new campaign to make East Anglia more eco-friendly - after successfully challenging businesses across the region to cut down on single-use plastics.

Dozens of employees from Aviva, AXA, BT and the Environment Agency took part in the trial scheme, which encouraged workers to go for a month without using single-use packaging at lunchtime.

Of the 50 workers taking part, 83% said the Lunch Club helped them reduce their single-use plastics, with participants on average cutting their usage by 54%.

Food waste was reduced by approximately 52% per participant and 67% said the trial helped them to save money.

The Lunch Club is now encouraging the rest of East Anglia to rethink their own lunch habits, in an effort to foster a new culture of sustainable meal planning.

According to the campaign, the average East Anglian worker spends £388 eating 'lunch on-the-go' and uses 276 items of lunch packaging annually.

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Councillor Paul West, Suffolk Waste Partnership vice chair and cabinet member for waste said: "We are delighted that #FoodSavvy Lunch Club has launched in Suffolk and Norfolk and employees are joining in to reduce their food waste and packaging.

"It shows how much can be saved in a month by taking simple steps, which adds up to a lot over the course of a year.

"We welcome businesses engaging with us and the #FoodSavvy campaign wants to work across all areas of our communities as food waste and packaging are a concern for us all.

"We look forward to more organisations and individuals joining in the collaboration."

Dr Charles Beardall, Environment Agency area director for East Anglia and Lunch Club participant, added: "The #FoodSavvy Club really made me think hard about the food I waste and, in particular, the huge amount of plastic used in the food I buy and eat. 

"I've made a number of small but really effective changes to the way I shop and carry food around that has significantly reduced my use of wasteful plastic. Why not join in and see what you can achieve?"

More information about the scheme, including useful tips for local people, can be found on the #FoodSavvy website.

Businesses and employees keen to register their interest can do so by emailing the Hubbub campaigns team.

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