How climate affecting food waste is being tackled in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire

Food waste has been identified as one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions in the world.

In Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire, it is estimated that around 540,000 tonnes of food are wasted every year - globally it is around 6.6 million tonnes, making food waste the third biggest contributor to greenhouse gases after the USA and China.

It is thought that around 25-30% of all food is wasted, which then creates greenhouse gases when it is put into landfills.

Schools in the region are now looking to teach pupils how valuable food is by running growing programmes.

It is hoped that by increasing the appreciation of food there will be less waste in the future.

The students have belt the towers themselves. Credit: ITV News

At Beckfoot Priestthorpe Primary School in Bingley, they are using artificial lights in special towers, along with putting the plants in water and nutrients to speed up the growth of the vegtables.

Elliot, one of the pupils, said: "That is the whole point of it, helping the environment, using less space of it and so using less space, in this carpet area, we could probably plant 200 plants with 12 or 13 of those, whilst a normal crop, if we had the carpet space me and you are standing on right now, could probably fit 30 plants."

Adam, Elliot's classmate, said: "In this new plantation system, things are going to be a lot easier to plant and there's going to be more growth rates, so we can feed a lot more people and a lot more families."

The pupils are also redistributing waste food by setting up a classroom marketplace, along with the charity ReThink to send food parcels home.

Steve McKay, from the charity, said: "I think the great thing about working with young people at his age is we teach sustainable development goals from the United Nations, and there's a time frame on that which is 2030, these children are 10 and 11 years old.

"In 9 years time, they'll be 20, 21 starting their adult life, and they absolutely should have the biggest say about what the world looks like when they open their front door."

The distribution centre is the biggest in Europe. Credit: ITV News

In Market Ransen an old aircraft hanger has become one of the biggest distribution centres for waste food in Europe.

Richard Humphreys, from the His Church charity, which uses the distribution centre, said: "Just last year, 2020, His Church provided a solution for over 2000 tonnes of food that would have gone to waste - 5 million meals - 5 million people fed with food that would have been thrown away, at a time when our country needs it most because of covid.

"Two or three articulated lorries every week which would have gone into the ground which now will be feeding vulnerable families and reducing the effect of climate change through greenhouse gasses that are produced and the effect that has on the environment."