Plastic and the WWII Rationing Challenge: A different kind of food waste

BY SARAH FOSTER

In 1946, just a few months after the end of WWII, 87,000 people rushed to the first National Plastics Exposition in New York, prompting the fire marshal to halt the event [1].  Plastic production, largely for military uses, had increased during the war. But with the end of the war plastic burst with a vengeance into consumer markets and Plastic Age, defined by the ubiquity of these versatile and robust materials, began in earnest. The mass production of plastic consumer goods promised convenience and affordable abundance—a democratization of physical possessions.  Susan Freinkel writes in Plastic: a Toxic Love Story that “Plastics freed us from the confines of the natural world, from the material constraints and limited supplies that had long bounded human activity” [2].  1.7 million tons of plastic were produced in 1954, in 2014 it was 311 million. How much is 311 million tons? It’s about the weight of 31,000 Eiffel towers. Placed side to side, these towers would occupy enough land area to carpet nearly 2.5 Londons (1,572 square km) [3].

Over 20 thousand Cambridgeshire children at risk of losing free school lunch

From the Soil Association

20,072 Cambridgeshire children aged 4-7 years will no longer receive free school meals if the proposals to axe universal infant free school meals (UIFSM) go ahead. This includes 2121 children who live in poverty. In the Cambridge constituency alone, 2761 infants would miss out, 357 of whom are in poverty.

A new school survey carried out for the Soil Association’s Food for Life programme showed that 37% of schools in England fear that their school meal service will close if the infants’ free school meals are slashed. This rises to 47% if it is a small school with its own kitchen [2].

91% of schools surveyed believe that pupil health and nutrition would be impacted by the potential withdrawal of free school meals for all infants. For many children this is the only hot meal they get in the day.

CSF is recruiting a freelance worker for our business work

CSF is looking for someone to continue our work with local food businesses, started in early 2016. The successful applicant will

• work with local small and medium-sized food businesses (SMEs) to sign them up to our pledge and award scheme

• work one-to-one with selected businesses to support them to reduce their food waste using new WRAP materials

• work with selected businesses to sign them up to the OLIO scheme (an app for giving away surplus food)

See the detailed job description here. Read more about our Pledge Scheme for Businesses here.

Deadline for applications: 12 noon on Monday 5th June. Interviews will be held on Wednesday 14th June.

Funding success: Sam Dyer appointed CSF coordinator

We are delighted to say that we have been successful in our application to Sustainable Food Cities for a £10,000 grant to appoint a coordinator for one year. 11 such awards have been made, with money from the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation and we are very grateful to both Sustainable Food Cities and to Esmee Fairbairn. A condition of this money was that we raise another £10,000 in match funding and we are enormously grateful to the 8 individuals and businesses who enabled us to reach this target.

We have appointed Sam Dyer as coordinator,

Cambridge Sustainable Food Pledge and Award Scheme Launch

The award winners, old and new, with Cllr Jeremy Benstead, Mayor of Cambridge

It was so great to see so many faces, old and new, at the launch for the Cambridge Sustainable Food Pledge and Award Scheme at the University Centre on the 2nd March. The afternoon was a great success, and following the Award’s successful pilot scheme last year (with funding from Cambridge City Council), we hope that this new edition of the Food Pledge and Award Scheme is as successful as the launch event.

 

Café Opportunity at The Clay Farm Centre

Looking to open a café in Cambridge? Do you already own/run a café and are looking to change/open a new premises? Cambridge City Council is inviting tenders for a café space at the new Clay Farm Centre development which could be just what you’re looking for!

In addition to the café, the development will consist of a medical centre, a library, community facilities and residential accommodation. The Clay Farm Centre will serve 3800 new homes as well as the existing Trumpington residents so should be an ideal space for a community focussed business!