Down the drain: Tapping into drinks waste

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The damaging effects of binning food are often well documented. However, we rarely think of the 11% liquid waste that makes up what we think of as ‘food waste’ as being part of the problem.

Because it doesn’t go in the bin we tend not to view drinks we dispose of as waste. A large proportion of householders claim to ‘never’ chuck out any drinks – be that fizzy juice, milk, coffee, smoothies or even bottled water. This is particularly the case for alcoholic drinks, with over 80% of people living in Britain swearing they don’t waste a drop... but that’s not what the facts say!

Why we should be crying over spilt milk

Drink waste has a high carbon cost yet most of us don’t think twice about pouring something down the sink.

An estimated 800 thousand tonnes of drink is disposed of via the sewer in the UK each year which adds up to an astonishing £1.4 billion. Given this amount of waste, clearly, far more of us are guilty of waste than we would like to think.

Even though it’s not being sent to landfill it is still damaging to the planet. The resources that go into growing, harvesting, transporting, and processing that drink all have a carbon cost, meaning any waste has a significant environmental effect, just as it does with landfilled waste.

Most of the food and drink poured away in Scotland is avoidable, meaning that if we had planned and stored it better in the home, it need not have gone to waste.

We're exploring drink waste in our new campaign ‘Down the drain’ – urging the nation to think not only about the food we put in the bin but also the liquid (and money) we are pouring down the drain.

We want to encourage those living in Scotland to drink responsibly in every sense of the word in order to consume sustainability.

To launch the campaign, we took over a bar at The Neighbourgood Market and served unsuspecting punters some delicious cocktails... with a twist.

Watch what happened here.