Ipswich’s Teapot Project to go zero-carbon this year after quadrupling amount of food waste saved

Mischa and Kat from the Teapot Project have quadrupled the amount of food intercepted by the Teapot

Mischa and Kat from the Teapot Project have quadrupled the amount of food intercepted by the Teapot Project this year compared to last. Left to right, Mischa Pearson and Kat Gosling. Picture: GREGG BROWN - Credit: Gregg Brown

An Ipswich project which redistributes edible food waste from going to landfill and gives to those in need has quadrupled the amount of food saved in the last year.

In the 12 months to the end of July the Teapot Project intercepted 10,600kg of food which could not be sold by retailers, but was still edible, from going to landfill – the equivalent of 43.3 tonnes of CO2.

The figures represent a huge increase on the 10.2 tonnes saved in its first year, and twice the amount it had targeted.

Project founder Mischa Pearson said: “I had to do the figures twice because I didn’t believe it, it was amazing.

“We knew we were going to be doing a quite a bit more than the previous year but didn’t expect that.”

Miss Pearson and project co-founder Kat Gosling said it was the small collections of a crate or two adding up that had made the difference, and proved there was a need for the community interest company to pick up waste and redistribute it.

Currently, the project has deals to collect food which cannot be sold from Nandos, Morrisons and Marks & Spencer among others, and distributes to organisations such as the YMCA and families who are hard up.

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Mrs Gosling added: “Unfortunately there is never a shortage of food to be intercepted and never a shortage of people that need it – it would be lovely if that wasn’t the case.”

The Stars of Suffolk-winning project is now on a mission to go ‘zero-carbon’ having decided not to remain at its temporary office in Upper Orwell Street from May, and now carrying out pick-ups and deliveries on bicycles rather than cars or vans.

Two or three meetings a week at a coffee shop has proved more carbon-efficient for the duo than utilities for an unneeded office, while two bid writers are working with the project to secure funds to buy an electric van for deliveries which it is hoped will be in place in the Autumn.

Miss Pearson said: “We were thinking about how we were doing things and how we could be better.

“It’s definitely worked out – we are not intercepting any less food by not having an office.”

The project is now seeking volunteers who have a roadworthy bicycle who would like to help with collections and deliveries as often as they would like.

To get involved visit the website here.