Hubbub launch new campaign to tackle packaging waste from lunch on the go

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Hubbub launch #FoodSavvy Lunch Club
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Environmental Charity Hubbub has launched the #FoodSavvy Lunch Club following research that found that British worker’s “lunch on the go” habit is creating 10.7 billion items of packaging waste annually, 276 items per person.

The research of over 1,200 UK full and part-time workers revealed that they use an average of four packaging items for each lunch purchase, with 76% picking up a sandwich container, 70% a packet of snacks, and 65% a napkin.

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It also found that 64% of people said that they buy lunch on the go more now that they did five years ago, with an overall spending of £13.6 billion each year.

This is leading to an increase in packaging waste, with the majority of it not being recycled or recyclable, said Hubbub.

To help create a new culture of meal planning and reusable lunch packaging that reduces food and plastic waste, Hubbub, in partnership with Norfolk and Suffolk Councils, have launched a new campaign, #FoodSavvy Lunch Club.

This campaign is aimed at encouraging people across the UK to get involved and rethink their own lunch habits by visiting www.foodsavvy.org.uk to take a quiz and find tips on how to plan their lunch meals to save time, packaging and money. 

The Club was trialled in March 2019 in East Anglia, with businesses Aviva, AXA, Environment Agency and BT, challenging a total of 50 employees to go for a month without using single-use packaging at lunch time.

Supported by Hubbub, participants were given a #FoodSavvy Savings Guide, which provided them with the ‘golden rules’ for reducing packaging and food waste.  

The businesses followed a three-week meal plan packed with simple, healthy and sustainable meals, and were tested to make their own meals for the trial’s final week.

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

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

Challenge participants and local eateries also took part in a pilot BYO Tupperware scheme, Take Away, Give Back, where they received a small incentive for bringing their own packaging.

Hubbub chief executive Trewin Restorick said: “’Lunch-on-the-go’ items create huge levels of waste and unfortunately much of this isn’t recyclable as it’s made from mixed materials or isn’t recycled due to contamination from food residue. By planning lunches in advance and using up items in your fridge you can massively reduce the amount of packaging you use while saving money by cutting down on food waste – in the UK we could save £58 million a day just by making our own lunches.

“If you do buy lunch on the go, don’t be shy – take along your own container to your favourite lunch spot. We’d encourage anyone wanting to get involved in the campaign to visit the #FoodSavvy website and we’d love more businesses to take on the challenge too – just register your interest on the Hubbub website.” 

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