Theme 6

Environmental Sustainability – reducing food waste and the ecological footprint of the food system

Working in partnership with Food Newcastle, Bind is the lead partner for driving forward this theme of the Newcastle Good Food Plan.

Bind is Newcastle’s not-for-profit food waste hub that believes in positive, creative approaches to reduce food waste and drive behaviour change. We focus our work on changing public attitudes, education, local policy and collaborating with local private, public and third sector organisations to deliver consistent, effective projects to reduce food waste.

Food waste is one of the biggest contributors to climate change. It exacerbates food inequalities and wreaks havoc with the economy. It’s one of the biggest environmental and social challenges we face on the planet. We love food so much, we simply can’t bare to see it get wasted. We see preventing food waste as a unique opportunity to save money whilst helping the planet, and through enjoying food we can engage people to make real change.

Bind also supports several projects which use surplus food in creative ways to engage the general public in the issue:

Magic Hat:

The Magic Hat Café aims to divert good food from landfill, and raise awareness on food waste by ‘upcycling’ surplus food to feed the community. Food that would otherwise be sent to landfill is collected from local food businesses and households in and around Newcastle upon Tyne.

Eat smart:

Eat Smart is an educational programme which looks at food waste created on a primary school site, and helps the children to understand the importance of reducing food waste from a young age.

NE leftovers:

NE Leftovers is our pilot project which helps small food businesses take control of their food waste. NE Leftovers is designed to help small businesses achieve the same benefits, who would normally find the initial investment prohibitive.

Learn more

Bind’s 2018 report on The Food Waste Environment of Newcastle-upon-Tyne:

Wise on Waste: Newcastle Waste Commission

Wise on waste is an initiative to look at how Newcastle can reduce its mountain of waste.

It set up the Newcastle Waste Commission with a view to producing a report which would outline how Newcastle could become a world leader in waste reduction.

The commission met a range of organisations and individuals and produced a comprehensive report packed full of ideas.

The 50-page publication entitled No Time to Waste is packed with ideas and actions to dramatically cut the amount of waste we produce.

The city collects 142,000 tonnes of it every year – that’s enough to fill St James Park entirely every three years and it’s becoming increasingly costly to process.  When business and industrial waste is added this figure is much higher.

The report coincides with a number of recent announcements by Government and big business aimed at reducing single use plastic which is harming wildlife and damaging the environment.

Drawn up by experts on the Newcastle Waste Commission, the report suggests:

  • a voluntary ban on single use plastics in the city

  • a voluntary ban on drinking straws in pubs, clubs and restaurants

  • setting an ambitious target to be a zero-food waste city

  • a re-use mall where unwanted items can be bought, sold and swapped

  • exploring alternatives to the council sending waste to Sweden

  • setting up a city-wide partnership for groups to share ideas and good practice

Future plans:

Food Newcastle and Bind have had several positive discussions with Newcastle City Council over the last year; and we are now exploring opportunities to obtain the necessary resources required to drive this theme, and the associated actions, forward.

For more information contact Duncan or Jess at Bind: or