Tower Hamlets residents help fight food waste and encourage healthy eating


Second helpings - food waste event at Husk Coffee - 4 August

A Tower Hamlets food event, ‘Second Helpings’ kicks off on Saturday 4th August at Husk Coffee & Creative Space.

At the event, Tower Hamlets residents will be able to learn about amazing recipes that use only leftovers, and the best ways to find and eat locally sourced food that would otherwise go to waste over a buffet style meal donated by FoodCycle. Other food tips will be presented – offering attendees insights on how to eat healthily and prevent food waste.

As part of the activities on offer, residents attending the event are being invited to forage an item from their home or the local community and bring it along to be included in a forager’s fricassee. People attending are encouraged to get into the event spirit, get their fancy dress on and come along in their favourite plant or food attire to create an Urban Eden. You can book a place here now for free with a £10 refundable deposit.

Tower Hamlets is one of nine London boroughs taking part in the Small Change, Big Difference campaign, which aims to help Londoners make a big difference to their health, pockets and the planet by getting savvier with their food. The campaign is about eating more healthily and sustainably, reducing the amount of food wasted at home and recycling more of the inedible bits.

John Biggs, Mayor of Tower Hamlets commented: “We are very proud that Tower Hamlets is championing the Small Change, Big Difference campaign. As Londoners throw away almost 910,000 tonnes of food each year, it is vital that campaigns such as these exist. We want to help our residents save money and live more sustainable lives by reducing and recycling food waste and we’ll be providing tips showing just how making one small change can make a big difference.”

Ali Moore, from the Small Change, Big Difference campaign, comments: “By concentrating on small changes, such as recycling potato peelings or banana skins, we can make a big difference - the peelings from just six potatoes can be turned into enough compost to grow a brand new potato or one recycled banana peel could generate enough electricity to fully charge an iPhone twice! We are looking forward to all of Tower Hamlets’ activities and are excited to have the borough take part.”

Londoners are spending a whopping £1.4 billion each year on buying food, with councils paying around £50 million to dispose of it when it becomes waste. Not only is this waste environmentally damaging, but families could save up to £70 a month by slightly changing the way we shop, prepare, store and eat our food. We can also help the environment by changing the way we dispose of our food.*

For more information on the campaign go to the small change big difference in Tower Hamlets page.

Here are some tips from Small Change, Big Difference for how to prevent food waste, eat more healthy and recycle the inedible bits:

  1. Freeze half your loaf if you don’t always use it all. Pop the slices into your toaster straight from the freezer. #THfoodhacks
  2. Once you have opened your bagged lettuce - place it in a tub with kitchen roll to make it last longer. #THfoodhacks
  3. Eat from your freezer one day a week. #THfoodhacks
  4. Try canned veg in your cooking – it’s packed with vitamins and lasts longer. #THfoodhacks
  5. Did you know you can freeze eggs? Simply crack them into a bowl and either separate or whisk together.#THfoodhacks
  6. Take a ‘shelfie’ of your fridge before shopping to avoid doubling up on items. #THfoodhacks
  7. One recycled banana peel could generate enough electricity to fully charge an iPod/iPhone/smartphone twice. #THfoodhacks
  8. Any container can act as a caddy in your kitchen, so long as you place it in the correct council container outside your property. #THfoodhacks
  9.  Did you know you can recycle, bones, eggshells, fruit peelings and coffee grounds in your council food waste collection? #THfoodhacks
  10. Make healthy ice cream using frozen banana - simply slice and blend #THfoodhacks

 *  Research by WRAP, the not-for-profit sustainability organisation (see below)


Notes to editors:

Small Change, Big Difference is communicating key messages encouraging: 

  • Better food purchasing and consumption habits to promote healthy and sustainable eating  
  • Food waste prevention - avoiding good food from ending up in the bin
  • That any food waste that is produced in the home is recycled in a separate food waste bin

Healthy sustainable eating

  • Food that’s good for your body is often good for the environment too. Beans, pulses, fruit and vegetables aren’t just packed full of the nutrients we need, they’re better for the planet too. These foods result in fewer emissions and generally require less water than animal products as well as keep your heart ticking over. Alternatively, go meat free one day a week and help reduce harmful greenhouse gases. 

Food waste prevention

  • It’s easy for the food in your fridge or cupboard to be forgotten. The use-by date arrives before you know it and you’ve failed (again) to make it last. But a few simple changes can help. Why not swap some of your fresh fruit and veg for frozen or canned? They’re rich in nutrients and last much longer. Or, freeze your bread and then pop it straight from the freezer to make toast and save all those      slices that normally end up in the bin.

Food waste recycling

  • Recycling food is as important as any other type of recycling, so whether it’s banana peels, potato peelings or egg shells, every last bit of unavoidable food waste belongs in your caddy. So, let’s make it the norm, the default – a non-negotiable part of being a      Londoner: something you’d do as naturally as stand on the right and walk on the left of an Underground escalator. Mind the waste. 

Whilst the campaign is London-wide, nine boroughs are receiving additional support to promote the Small Change, Big Difference campaign to their local residents. They are: Bexley, Hackney, Hounslow, Islington, Lambeth, Merton, Croydon, Sutton and Tower Hamlets.



TRiFOCAL London – Transforming City FOod hAbits for Life, is an initiative being led by Resource London - the partnership between WRAP and LWARB - together with Groundwork London. The organisations won a bid with the LIFE programme of the European Commission to deliver the initiative in London, which will be a test bed for other European cities.

About WRAP

First established in 2000, WRAP is a not for profit organisation and registered charity whose vision is a world where resources are used sustainably. WRAP works with governments, businesses and communities to deliver practical solutions to improve resource efficiency. Our mission is to accelerate the move to a sustainable resource-efficient economy through:
i. re-inventing how we design, produce and sell products,
ii. re-thinking how we use and consume products, and
iii. re-defining what is possible through re-use and recycling


The London Waste and Recycling Board (LWARB) has a remit to improve waste management in the capital. LWARB has developed a circular economy route map with the aim of turning London into a circular city, and will continue to deliver a series of initiatives to accelerate this transition. 

About Groundwork London

Groundwork London is a social and environmental regeneration charity (registered charity no. 1121105). For almost 20 years we’ve been at the forefront of environmental and social regeneration in London; changing places and lives for the better, in some of the capital’s most disadvantaged neighbourhoods. In today’s challenging social and economic climate, the work we do has never been more important; creating better places, improving people’s economic prospects and helping people to live and work in a more sustainable way.

Our three over-arching objectives are:

  • Creating better places – supporting people to work collectively to make their surroundings greener, safer and healthier and be actively involved in the way decisions are made about services in their area.
  • Promoting greener living and working – helping people and businesses learn more about their environmental impact and act responsibly to reduce natural resource use and improve their health.
  • Improving people’s prospects – delivering support to increase the confidence, skills, well-being and employability of those furthest removed from the labour market, in particular young people.

For more information visit or follow us on Twitter @GroundworkLON or on Facebook

Posted on Wednesday 25th July 2018