Scottish Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead has today (23 February) pledged to cut food waste in Scotland by a third by 2025, as part of Scotland’s new circular economy strategy, ‘Making Things Last’.

The food waste target, which last October Lochhead promised to introduce, could save Scottish businesses and households at least £500 million a year, and ‘will put Scotland at the forefront of global action to tackle food waste’, according to Lochhead.

The national target is the first of its kind in Europe and has been set in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goal of halving per capita food waste by 2030. Since 2009, household food waste in Scotland has decreased by an estimated 37,000 tonnes per year, 5.7 per cent overall, which the government estimates has saved households around £92 million a year.

A ‘variety of stakeholders’ will work to identify a package of actions to deliver the government’s planned food waste reductions, with a consultation helping to decide whether measures should be voluntary or binding.

The government will also investigate the development of a number of indicators to assess progress on the target, including carbon savings from solid and liquid waste, the reduction in tonnes of on-farm losses of edible produce and financial savings.

The announcement was made as Lochhead launched Scotland’s first circular economy strategy in Edinburgh.