Guernsey Waste has launched a campaign to stop thousands of tonnes of food being thrown away each year, starting with pupils at Les Beaucamps High School.
The 'Food's Not Rubbish' campaign began at the school yesterday with a presentation from the Youth Forum, which is supporting the event.
It aims to teach the students and the wider community how they can cut down on their food waste, from using up leftovers to understanding the difference between a 'sell by' and 'use by' date.
"If food waste was a country, it would be the third biggest contributor to the world's greenhouse gas emissions, behind the USA and China," explained Guernsey Waste Recycling Officer, Tina Norman-Ross. "That is the scale of the problem, but it only takes small changes to reduce our waste and those translate into big savings."
The average UK family is estimated to throw away around £800 worth of food every year.
Pictured: Acting Headteacher at Les Beaucamps, Martin Haimes.
"The first step is recognising the problems and since food waste collections came in a year ago, households are a lot more aware of how much they throw away," Mrs Norman-Ross continued. "In conversations in the past, islanders usually told us they didn't waste much food. Now, people are seeing it for themselves and saying they want to reduce it."
The Youth Forum plans to continue its work with the project, rolling it out to other local schools.
"It was one of our priorities that we discussed earlier this year at one of our yearly residentials," said Forum Chair, Charlotte Long. "It's a massive issue and it's going to affect us because it all contributes to climate change and that will affect our generation and the generations to come.
"We just want to make young people aware of what food waste actually does, because I think when so many people chuck something in the bin they don't think about where it's going and what it's contributing to."
In Guernsey, 4,000 tonnes of food is thrown away each year, two thirds of which could have been eaten.
"It's really important to put political pressure on people in power but it's also important to show that we ourselves are prepared to make a change," added James Cleal from the Youth Forum.
Pictured: Households in Guernsey have been using food waste caddies for the past year.
"'Sell by' dates refer to the last day that the shop can sell the food legally. It doesn't mean that once it's past that the food is inedible, so there is no need to be throwing away needlessly and it's the same with 'best before' dates. They refer to the date of which the best quality, in terms of texture and taste, expires. You can still eat it."
All Les Beaucamps High students and staff will enjoy a free lunch on Monday, for a cost of less than £800 overall, to highlight just how much good food is wasted by families.
"This is so paramount to what the island is starting with all the new bins and everything that has been happening, but for me it's about bringing it to school," said Assistant Headteacher, Tracy Hubert. "It exists at home but at school we don't recycle, we put everything in one bin, so it's about lifelong lessons that we can teach the children now that they can take with them into the future.
"The journey is in its infancy here. I want my student council to be looking into ways that we can adapt the school to bring on more recycling, to have food waste bins around the canteen after lunch etc."
Pictured top: James Cleal, Scarlett Kirk, Charlotte Long, Tracy Hubert and Tina Norman-Ross.
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