Zero Waste Week 2020 – Day Three

Welcome to day three of Zero Waste Week.

The average UK household throws away 22% of their weekly food shop which adds up to £700 per year!

Every day in the UK we throw away 

  • 20 million slices of bread
  • 6 million potatoes
  • 4 million bananas 

The food and drink we waste, that could have been eaten (4.5 million tonnes) would fill:

  • • 8 Wembley Stadiums (London, UK)
  • • 90 Royal Albert Halls
  • • 38 million wheelie bins (based on a standard 240l)
  • • 3,600 Olympic sized swimming pools
  • 490,000 bin lorries/dustcarts (source: WRAP)

But together, we can change that. It is what this week is all about. We are half way through the week already and onto our third challenge.

Today’s topic comes to you, courtesy of Zero Waste Week subscriber, Linda, who earlier this year, wrote saying this:

“Can I ask that you maybe do a session on how to store goods more efficiently?  I personally don’t take much notice of the dates and use my nose to the disgust of my family!  However I used to make my own cheese and cure bacon and that didn’t come with sell by dates, so guess it has come from there.  I appreciate you have to be careful not to advise people and they end up ill, but maybe how to store bread, eggs etc and where to put things in the fridge for maximum efficiency – I think this would be well received.  Just an idea anyhow – you are brilliant at this stuff!”

Well, we think this is a brilliant ideas, so a big thank you to Linda. Messages like this inspire us to “Keep on Carrying On”. Not so many years ago, some of our ideas seemed a little quirky and we did feel several degrees away from normal. But thanks to the huge success of Zero Waste Week and similar campaigns we are starting to feel that actually our efforts towards a Zero Waste Lifestyle are the new normal. We are slowly reaching that tipping point. There will be more people like us, people like you than not. And that is absolutely where we need to be.

The mantra we are starting to hear is this!

So, today we want to see the audience take over.

The great thing about today is that everyone can do this challenge in just ten minutes!

Today’s challenge is to share the love for reducing food waste either by thinking of a better storage tip or digging through your cupboards to see if you have anything beyond its best before date and share it in one or many ways:

  • Post your tip in the comments below.
  • You could post your tip on Twitter with the hashtag #ZeroWasteWeek. We will be monitoring the hashtag all day and sharing the tips. 
  • Share your tip on Facebook and tag @ZeroWasteWeekHeroes in the comments. If you make your tip public we will share it to our group, which has 16,000 members – all people on a Zero Waste journey – people like you: people who care about our use of resources and the way we treat our environment. Perhaps you’d even like to join the group and post your tip yourself as an introduction. The Facebook group has had over 214 million views!

Zero Waste Heroes Facebook Group

  • Post your tip on Instagram and tag @myzerowaste
  • Of course, you can choose any other social media platform to share your tip. If you let us know you’ve shared it, or maybe send us a screenshot or a link, we’ll hopefully see it and be able to pass it on.
  • If you are not a social media person, then share your tip in person with your family. One thing Rachelle and I both love is when people tell us they’ve come up with a new way of reducing food waste because of something we’ve read and when that’s our own family it is even more special.  

To get you in the mood, let’s deal with the suggestions Linda made – bread, eggs and we’ll add in potatoes.



According to WRAP, a ridiculous 20 million slices of bread are wasted every day in the UK, but it is so easy to just Use Your Loaf. You can’t eat bread when it has gone mouldy. Bread mould is bad for us as well as tasting yucky. The easiest way to make sure your bread doesn’t go mouldy is to store it in the freezer. (It’s a good job you made some space in there yesterday, hey?) If you have just a freezer compartment, then freeze half your loaf while you eat the other half. If you buy sliced bread in a bag, keep the bag to store half your loaf or even just a few slices if it takes you a while to get through it. For unsliced bread, it is better to slice it before you freeze it. That way, you can take out just the number of slices you need. Bread slices defrost really quickly and my top tip from days when I was making sandwiches for children’s packed lunches, you can make sandwiches with bread that’s still slightly frozen and it will keep them fresher for longer. They will be defrosted well before break time, never mind lunch, but they will have had that extra bit of cold time.

If you buy bread that goes hard or stale quickly, there are plenty of ways to use it up. Check out our blog post.


Do you do the egg test?

Keep your eggs in the fridge to keep them fresher for longer.

The egg test

If you aren’t going to use them within about three weeks, then you can freeze them. Crack the eggs and beat them, then pop them into a container that seals well. Then you can freeze them. If you sometimes use egg yolks or egg whites on their own, you can actually separate the eggs before freezing.



Store your potatoes in a cool dark place to stop them going green. If you do find some green bits on your potatoes you can just cut them off. It is fine to use the rest of the potato. And you certainly don’t need to throw away the whole bag, just because of a rotten one or a green one.

You can freeze cooked potato (once it is cooled).

Check out our Zero Waste Week Ambassadors

For more inspiration check out the top tips for better food storage provided by our wonderful Zero Waste Week Ambassadors. Somewhere out there, you’ll find the perfect solution for your particular food waste niggle. If you don’t find it, then contact us and we’ll direct you to what you need to know to make that change.

And before you go running off to do your challenge for today there’s a fab resource from the Love Food Hate Waste team at WRAP on this link.

Enjoy deciding on which tip to share and we look forward to hearing from you.

We’ll see you tomorrow for Day Four!


Posted in

Anna Pitt


  1. Kaya Bajgar on September 9, 2020 at 8:17 am

    We store our lettuce in a cup of water on the table like you would have cut flowers. Just change the water out every couple of days and take the leaves off as you want to use them. It stays fresh much longer this way.

    This is also a great way to regrow the lettuce if you want, after a little while in the water it’ll start gaining new growth.

  2. Gala Copley on September 9, 2020 at 9:06 am

    This is a great initiative! Our favourite tip relates to bulk buys of salad greens. Whenever we spot it about to turn, we freeze what’s left and put it into soups, stews and curries for some extra green. Looking forward to reading all the other tips – I’d never thought of freezing lemons, for example.

    • Carol Terry on September 10, 2020 at 3:38 pm

      Good tips in this article. But!!! The best way is to plan meals and only buy what you are going to eat. It saves money and you have no food waste.

  3. sue wilkinson on September 9, 2020 at 9:29 am

    Hi. I don’t seem to have much waste, we mostly grow our own and give away what veg/salad we don’t use. If I do have bits of veg left over I chop it into chunks and put in a jar with vinegar to pickle for later on. If I buy a sealed pack of cooked beetroot, which is too much at a time, I slice some of it and put in a jar of vinegar too.
    When I go to a supermarket, which isn’t often, I tend to buy a few extra packets and tins ‘just in case’. I go through my cupboards about 3 or 4 times a year, checking the use by dates, and take out anything that needs eating within the next 3 or 4 months (now I will do it with anything that is best before end of the year), put it in a small box and be inventive to use use it all up before I use other stuff in the cupboards.

  4. Kathy Barton on September 9, 2020 at 11:07 am

    I work on a Community food growing project and sometimes the team on the previous day picked more salad leaves than they needed and have left them on the counter outside. They might look pretty wilted but I put them in a basin of cold water and soon they look normal and delicious to eat.

    Growing with out chemicals and sharing with wildlife we often get spuds, beetroot, swede, carrots, etc with nibbles out of them. I just cut that off and use the rest. Perfectly good.

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