The charity Eighth Plate is relaunching its festival surplus food recycling project this summer alongside the Nationwide Caterers’ Association (NCASS), who believes its members have the goodwill and resources to operate the scheme without a significant injection of new funding.
The original scheme was launched in 2015 with food waste recycling schemes at festivals including Glastonbury (cap. 140,000), which used a walk-in refrigerator to store traders’ unused food over the weekend, saving 2.5 tonnes. In total 27 tonnes of food was salvaged from seven festivals, which was then donated to national food charity FareShare.
Although the initial project cost £30,000, Mark Laurie of NCASS believes enough traders will sign up to the 2018 scheme to allow it to function at minimal cost.
“Caterers hate wasting food and like the fact that salads and buns are going to people who need it,” he says. “NCASS has 5,000 caterers with transport and freezers. The new plan is for caterers to coordinate with festivals to give them an idea of how much waste they might have, then create drop off points at festivals. As they move off site they take food to the drop off and volunteers take it to charity.”