Posted on: Friday 10 March 2023
Primary school pupils are joining the fight to reduce food waste.
Torfaen Council’s Catering Team has launched a new competition to see which school can cut the amount of leftovers thrown away at dinnertime.
It comes as the council’s waste and recycling service is piloting a new food waste recycling service for schools which use the catering service.
Pupils at Padre Pio Roman Catholic School in Pontypool, are among the first to sign up and will be trialling new weighing scales which will be provided to the schools.
Emie Capewell, Orla Teague, and Ava Morgan from Padre Pio RC Primary School, said: “Some people don't have food, and what we waste could be a meal for someone else. We are wasting too much.
"People work hard to make our food and we are wasting it. We are not appreciating their hard work.
"If children are wasting food because they don't like it, they could find an alternative meal from the menu or ask for a smaller portion.”
Mrs Dawn Taylor, Class 1 teacher and Eco Co-ordinator, Padre Pio RC Primary School, said "We hate waste, so we are very happy to be involved in this project.
“Recycling food waste is so simple to do, so we are hoping that if the children do it in school, they will take this behaviour home with them to share with their family and the wider community.”
The school that reduces the most food waste will win a fun healthy cooking session with Cooking Together, run by Richard Shaw, formally from Healthy Challenge Wales Cooking Bus.
Councillor Mandy Owen, Executive Member for the Environment, said: “I’m thrilled the catering team have launched this competition in primary schools. This initiative will not only help to increase the amount of food that is recycled in the borough, it will also educate children about the importance of reducing food waste both financially and environmentally.
“Also, by finding out what type of food is wasted the most in schools, the team will be able to adjust menus and the amount of food served. Meals will still be nutritionally balanced, but hopefully there will be less of it wasted.”
Schools are being encouraged to monitor and record the amount of plate waste in the dining hall; organise a campaign to encourage pupils to reduce food waste; and investigate into the main issues causing plate waste.
To get involved in the competition email email@example.com or phone 07946 341718.
Currently less than 64 per cent of rubbish in Torfaen is recycled, but the Welsh Government wants all local authorities in Wales to recycle 70 per cent of rubbish by 2025.
This project contributes to the council's wellbeing objectives to respond to the climate and nature emergencies by recycling more. You can read more about the council's County Plan here.
Find out more about Primary school catering.