A COMMUNITY fridge and freezer have been launched in Ringwood in a bid to cut down food waste.

Plastic Free Ringwood and Ringwood Actions for Climate Emergency (RACE) opened the community fridge and freezer at Ringwood Library, with support from Hampshire County Council and the Hampshire Library Service.

An official opening ceremony was held on Saturday (September 18).

The aim of the initiative is that surplus food donated by local businesses can be shared - helping to reduce food waste as well as giving people the chance to access nutritious food and save money.

The fridge and freezer are open to anyone to use during Ringwood Library’s opening hours, which are 9.30am to 5pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, and 9.30am to 1.30pm on Saturdays.

Plastic Free Ringwood community leader Lindsay Andrews said: “We were fortunate to get the fridge and freezer donated and through a grant that RACE received from Sainsbury’s Ringwood we have been able to equip the area, including scales that will allow us to measure the amount of food that has been saved from going to waste.

"We have been overwhelmed by the number of volunteers willing to help collect food and look after the facility. We already have a weekly donation of food from Waitrose, plus adhoc donations from Tesco Express and BH24 and hope that more local shops will join the scheme over time.

“We have run a three-month pilot and have saved over 1 tonne of food from waste, which is around 2.5 tonnes of CO2. So, we are delighted to be continuing to work with Hampshire County Council’s Ringwood Library to further help with climate change.”

Cllr Edward Heron, Hampshire County Council’s executive member for recreation, heritage and rural affairs, added: “Our Hampshire libraries are important hubs of support for our local communities and we are delighted to be able to assist Plastic Free Ringwood and Ringwood Actions for Climate Emergency by providing a location for their community fridge and freezer in our Ringwood Library branch.

"By helping decrease food waste, this fantastic initiative will also play a part in supporting our wider climate change efforts to make Hampshire carbon neutral by 2050.”

Cllr Jan Warwick, Hampshire County Council’s executive member for climate change and sustainability, said: “Congratulations to Ringwood Actions for Climate Emergency for organising this inspiring new initiative.

"This is a great example of residents forging partnerships to deliver creative solutions that benefit the local community and the environment, which is a win-win.”


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