Sustainable Merton

Sustainable Merton on Fighting Food Waste

Sustainable Merton on Fighting Food Waste

The local charity on tackling local food waste issues with their latest community initiative

Sustainable Merton are encouraging residents to change wasteful lifestyle habits with their push to influence people to live more sustainably. WRAP estimates that 6.6 million tonnes a year of household food is thrown away, 70% of which is still edible, costing an average family with children around £60 a month. The carbon associated with this food waste is equivalent to that generated by 1 in 5 cars on the road.

In April 2020 Sustainable Merton, a local environmental charity, decided to act and set up Merton’s First Community Fridge. The aim was to influence behaviour change and get the community working together to reduce food waste and support those living in food poverty.

Over 9 months they have: supported 128 unique families, including 120 children; collected 67 Fareshare Go donations from local supermarkets; saved 8,356kg of food (equivalent to 20,025 meals and 26,729 kg of CO2). 30 ‘Fridge Friends’ are now involved in the project, with 500 volunteer hours contributed.


In September 2020, Sustainable Merton extended the Community Fridge Network to 3 other locations in the borough – Commonside Development Trust in Mitcham, the Wimbledon Guild in Wimbledon Town Centre, and the Polish Families in Colliers Wood, together with the initial fridge in Morden Baptist Church.

Diana Sterk, Chief Executive of Merton Chamber of Commerce, announced, ‘I am so pleased we took action when we did – it was a difficult decision because we opened during the first Lockdown. I know that we are influencing people’s behaviour to make a difference and that we have made a difference and will continue to do so.

I hope [Merton residents] will think about where [their] food comes from. If we buy local produce, buy food in season, and think how long it takes to grow or be produced, we can all reduce the unnecessary food waste that is currently part and parcel of acceptable everyday life.’

For more information on this, and other initiatives, see