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The potential for a circular food system in an urban environment – the case of four south London boroughs
Cities in the UK largely operate according to an unsustainable, linear metabolism, requiring high levels of resource extraction and generating significant amounts of waste. Conventional agriculture, responsible for almost all the food that feeds these cities, is dependent on non-renewable inputs such as artificial fertilisers, and with close to half of all food eaten in Britain imported, it often travels long distances before consumption. At the same time, approximately a third of all food grown is wasted. In the UK, 70% of this waste originates from households. In a circular economy, products are not wasted but retain ‘cascade’ value before degrading, and in their least useful form are recycled into a new input. In the food system, methods for achieving circularity already exist. Commercial and philanthropic ‘re-use’ allows for surplus to be distributed efficiently, while recycling – through anaerobic digestion and composting – converts waste, including sewage waste, into an environmentally-friendly fertiliser. These tools reduce the need for non-renewable inputs and can significantly reduce environmental harm. This paper will examine the potential for a circular food system in four London Boroughs: Merton, Sutton, Croydon and Kingston. These are chosen because together they form the South London Waste Partnership. The circularity of the present setup is assessed, through examination of the applicable policies at the national, regional and local level, combined with data review. It is shown that while some local policies are beneficial, there is significant scope for improving food recycling, while other system-wide changes would need a new approach by the national government

Shared with the World by Elangkathir Duhindan

This list was generated on Wed Feb 28 14:57:30 2024 UTC.