Organisations are being offered £1.15 million to come up with creative ways of tackling Britain’s endemic food waste.

The government funding will go towards helping people change their behaviour, such as education on storage, or transforming waste into other materials such as edible products.

The government’s food waste champion, Ben Elliot, also announced he will hold the first ever “Food Waste Action Week” from Monday 11 May, and called on households and businesses across the country to join the fight against waste

Environment minister Rebecca Pow said: “The UK is a proud world leader in tackling food waste, owing in part to the innovation and creativity of many organisations across the UK – from educating the public on food waste in our homes, to making our supply chains greener.

“I look forward to supporting UK organisations who are taking up the mantle to tackle food waste and to create a better world for ourselves, as well as generations to come. It makes sense in every way – it cuts collection costs, saves the customer money and importantly reduces emissions which benefits the environment.”

The new grants are the latest move in the government’s drive to reduce food waste in the UK by 20 per cent by 2025, and form part of a wider £15m scheme to address surplus food from the retail and manufacturing sectors.

The £1.15m offering will be split into two small-scale grants: The Citizen Food Waste Prevention grant, worth £650k, and the Value from Food pilot project grant, worth £500k.

The former provides sums between £25,000 and £100,000 to SME businesses and not-for-profit organisations who are inspiring the public to reduce household waste, and the latter is open for collaborative projects which are piloting methods to create useful material out of surplus food, offering between £20,000 to £100,000.

Announcing the first ever Food Waste Action Week, government food waste champion Ben Elliot said: “The country’s first ever Food Waste Action Week will be taking place from Monday 11th May and I encourage and implore everyone to get stuck in, joining together and taking the fight to food waste. More details will be provided shortly on what we must all do to reduce food waste at home and at work.”

The Citizen Food Waste Prevention and Value From Food Waste grants will be managed by sustainability not-for-profitWRAP, which works closely with governments, businesses and citizens to reduce food waste, from running public awareness campaigns such asLove Food Hate Waste, to working with local councils to offer residents separate food waste collections.

Peter Maddox, director of WRAP, said: “WRAP is pleased to be managing the Resource Action Fund on behalf of Defra.

“We are looking forward to receiving applications from innovative and imaginative programmes and projects that will have a real impact in reducing the level of food waste in our homes and making sure we get more value from food waste in supply chains – priorities for both WRAP and Defra.”