This is Rubbish aims to communicate the preventable scale of food wasted in the UK, through policy research, community and arts led public events. Formed in 2009 by volunteers, TiR registered as a Community Interest Company in 2011. The organisation now has an extensive portfolio of successful events through England and Wales.
This is Rubbish (TiR) launched at Feeding the 5000 in 2009, a mass public food waste feast in Trafalgar Square. The event was produced in collaboration with Action Aid; FareShare; Save the Children and expert food waste author, Tristram Stuart. On the day TiR served 1000 litres of fruit ‘waste’ smoothies, pressed by pedal power and made from fruit that would have otherwise ended up in landfill. The campaign also gained extensive media coverage and 2000 signatories in a letter of support, addressed to DEFRA.
During 2010 TiR piloted their Chuck Out Chain Game at Hungry for Activism, a public food policy event in Leeds. In April TiR collaborated with the UK’s Greenest theatre, Arcola with a program of food sustainability talks and workshops, followed by a theatrical food waste banquet for 100 people. In November 2010 TiR appeared on ITV Wales, winning the campaign £50,000 from the Welsh Peoples Millions for their project ‘Feast’, a Food Waste Tour of eight communities and Festivals in Wales during summer 2011. In each location TiR set up a popup food waste café to host workshops, games and a programme of creative events followed by an evening theatrical food waste feasts with local artists and musicians, alongside policy and campaign work to reduce UK industry level food waste.
Asks and Aims:
In the UK alone, approximately 15 million tonnes of food is wasted annually costing an estimated £22 billion a year. WRAP’s Love Food Hate Waste campaign, successfully aim to tackle food waste in the home. TiR however, concentrate on the 50% of food waste that occurs before it reaches consumers, within the supply chain itself. To tackle this, TiR has two main policy asks:
1. For all areas of the food sector to be obliged to report on the food waste they generate in their activities, with annual reports audited and publicised by an independent commission.
2. For the government to introduce an obligation upon the food sector to reduce food waste.
Wider Campaign Aims:
- A reduction in food waste, through the uptake of our policy asks
- Public awareness of the associated solutions and issues, such as food sustainability,equity, depleting resources, and reinforcing the non-monetary ‘value’ of food
- A more efficient and resilient supply chain that practices ‘cradle to cradle’ systems and environmental sustainability
- The avoidable waste wiped out of the food industry supply chain and the home
- A reduction in the green house gas emissions associated with waste
- A realisation of the value of positive, interactive and playful communication to effect behavioural change
TiR’s achievements include:
- Successful media coverage propelling the issues of food waste in the public realm including The Guardian, BBC Wales, ITV, S4C, The Ecologist
- Gained support for their policy asks from expert mentors including Geoff Tansey (Food Ethics Council), Tim Lang (Food Policy, City University London), Caroline Steel (Author of Hungry City) and Guy Shrubsole (Public Interest Research Centre), Sophie Nueburg (Consumer Focus energy policy specialist) and Peter Gingold (Tipping Point).
- Artist commissions including Danny Chivers (spoken word), Theo Bard (musician), Franny Donohoe (dancer), Real Institute (audio), Tell Me a Tale (Drama) Talia (Story Telling) and mentors by Peter Gringoid (Tipping Point) and Clare Patey (food artist curator)
- Programmed discussions with Harriet Lamb (Fairtrade Foundation), Andrew Simms (nef), Russell Owens (Welsh Government), Ian Cox (Eco Studio), Guy Boswell (FareShare), Martin Bowman (Food Not Bombs)
- Won the Public Vote at Hay Festival’s Green Dragons Den, May 2011
- Appeared on Swansea Waste Forum panel June 2011
- Worked directly with suppliers throughout the supply chain, collecting case studies and reusing food waste
- Met with the Welsh Government and WRAP through responding to their consultation on industry Food Waste policy
- Presented to the ECR Waste Working Group, (IGD), including representatives from Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Nestle, Muller, Unilever, Breaks and Asda in August 2011
- Successful FEAST tour funded by the Welsh Peoples Millions in 2011
- Secured funding from Esmee Fairbairn to complete the Industry Food Waste Audit Proposal (IFWAP) 2013
- Launched research paper, Counting What Matters at the Houses of Parliament in May 2013, with coverage in the Guardian, Independent and BBC
- Worked with Waterloo Council in 2014 to deliver Exotic Excess event
- Incredible Edible funded by Awards for All, Tudor Trust and the David Tylor Trust in 2014
- Counting What Matters funded by Esmee Fairbairn Foundation to call for annual, transparent audits to take place across big supermarkets. 2014 – 2015
We have been lucky enough to gain funding for FEAST (2011), IFWAP (2013), Counting What Matters (2015), but most of the core work that we do is on a voluntary basis. If you would like to support our work there are many ways you can also get involved!