Tips to reduce food waste this festive season

People in Scotland are set to throw away over 50,000 tonnes of food and drink throughout the month of December, including 280,000 turkeys, 240,000 Christmas puddings and 3.5 million mince pies.

By Dawn Renton
Sunday, 29th November 2015, 6:00 pm

To help combat the unnecessary waste, Richard Lochhead, Scotland’s cabinet secretary for rural affairs, food and the environment, has teamed up with Scottish celebrity chef Tony Singh to urge people to plan ahead, resist the temptation to over-buy and help to cut the amount of food they throw away over the festive period.

The advice comes as part of European Week for Waste Reduction, which encourages people to arrange activities which promote the importance of reducing waste. In Scotland, over 100 events have been scheduled, demonstrating the crucial role that waste reduction plays in reducing carbon emissions and boosting the economy.

Mr Lochhead said: “In October, I announced the very encouraging news that since 2009, avoidable food waste in Scotland had dropped by almost eight per cent, representing an annual saving of around £92 million for households throughout the country. There’s so much more to be done, however, particularly during the festive period – when we’ve previously seen a spike in food waste figures as people admit to throwing away more food at this time of year than any other.

“Planning ahead for the party season is easy to do. It’s crucial that we all play our part to reduce food waste and appreciate the very significant environmental and economic impact it has. Tony Singh is widely recognised as one of the country’s top chefs, and I know he shares my passion in terms of helping Scotland to work towards becoming a zero waste society. He is a fantastic ambassador for Scotland and I’m delighted that we’re able to make the most of his expertise as a seasoned chef and restaurateur during European Week for Waste Reduction.”

Tony Singh – perhaps best known for his many appearances on the BBC’s Great British Menu, as well as one half of the duo The Two Incredible Spice Men with fellow chef Cyrus Todiwala – has partnered with Scottish Government-funded organisation, Zero Waste Scotland, to provide top tips for planning ahead effectively during the party season.

He said: “It’s great to be working with the Scottish Government and Zero Waste Scotland on this fun and festive food waste reduction campaign – and I’m delighted to have provided some festive leftover recipes to keep the cooks inspired after the big day.

“I hope that by sharing some of the experience I’ve gained in over 25 years of working in the restaurant trade, I can really help people to reduce their food waste at Christmas, as well as to save a considerable chunk off their festive food bill.”

For more advice and tips on how to plan ahead for Christmas and cut down on your food waste, visit