New lunch club campaign starts across East Anglia to try and reduce packaging waste

14 May 2019, 17:05 | Updated: 14 May 2019, 17:08


A new campaign across Norfolk and Suffolk is asking us to re-think our lunch habits, after claims more of us are now buying it "on the go" which is leading to more packaging waste.

A survey by the charity Hubbub showed people in East Anglia are spending £388 a year eating lunch on the go and using 276 items of lunch packaging annually, much of which, the charity say, can't be recycled.

Because of this, they've launched the #FoodSavvy Lunch Club in collaboration with Norfolk and Suffolk Councils, that aims to create a new culture of meal planning and reusable lunch packaging, to reduce food and plastic waste.

It follows a trial in East Anglia earlier this year with businesses Aviva, Axa, Environment Agency and BT which challenged 50 employees to go for a month without using single use packaging at lunch time and gave them support to do so.

More than four fifths (83%) said the lunch club helped them reduce single use packaging, and 67% said it helped them to save money.

They also took part in a pilot scheme with local eateries which saw them receive a small incentive for bringing their own packaging.

Lyn McAllister from Number 7 in Norwich took part. She told Heart "It still needs a bit more momentum I think... people love the idea so when yuo talk to people they're like 'Oh that's just such a good idea' but sometimes people forget on the morning, they're rushing around and don't always remember that they should be putting a container in.

"I think the containers is the next step... and then people will have their bag... they'll have their coffee cup in their bag and they'll have their container and I think then, then they can think 'Right I'm off for work and this is what I need."

Trewin Restorick, chief executive of Hubbub 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 Food Savvy website and we'd love more businesses to take on the challenge too - just register your interest on the Hubbub website."

We can visit to take a quiz and find tips on how to plan our lunch meals to save time, packaging and money.