How you can help to reduce food waste in Edinburgh

By Jess, posted 05/03/19

Did you know that almost a third of all food produced globally is thrown away?


Did you know that almost a third of all food produced globally is thrown away? In Edinburgh alone, more than 27 tonnes of edible food are thrown out every week – that’s equivalent to 54,000 meals.

Some of this wasted food is thrown out by households and individuals: you can find advice on reducing your own food waste footprint from Love Food, Hate Waste among others.

Most of it, however, is thrown away by supermarkets who are cannot sell perfectly edible food after its ‘Best Before’ date. At the end of each day, good food that could fill empty plates is discarded unnecessarily. So what can we do about it?

There are plenty of food-related ways to help reduce Edinburgh’s waste problem: firstly, by connecting surplus food with people and places that need it. Over the past five years, SHRUB’s Food Sharing group has collected tonnes of excess food from 25 local businesses and redistributed it to charities and members of the community. In 2018 alone, more than 30 tonnes were saved from a wasteful fate.

Food Sharing Edinburgh has also recently opened Scotland’s first Excess Food Supermarket, selling fresh, surplus food rescued from supermarkets with a budget-friendly ‘pay as you feel’ price tag. The Hub is open on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, from noon until 4pm in SHRUB’s base at 22 Bread Street, Edinburgh. Come in to meet us and hear more about our Zero Waste mission!

If you are interested in volunteering with either of the above projects, help is always welcome so get in touch about collections or helping out at the Food Sharing Hub. Volunteers can also opt to run sustainable cooking workshops in student halls – with training provided from a chef – and get involved with organising sustainability events and workshops.

For more information on volunteering, check out our available roles or email us at foodsharing@shrubcoop.org. You can also join our Facebook Group to stay up to date with news and opportunities.

SHRUB Coop is funded through the Scottish Government’s Climate Challenge Fund and the European Regional Development Fund. We’re grateful for all their support. Find out more about our funders by clicking on the logos above.