A few weeks ago, Tesco revealed it generated almost 30,000 tonnes of food waste in the first six months of 2013.
This week the latest report on food waste by Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) shows that the amount of food and drink is thrown away by UK households fell by 21% between 2007 and 2012. This saved local authorities around £85 million in avoided landfill tax and gate fees in 2012 alone and it reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 4.4 million tonnes of CO2 (same as would be saved from taking 1.8 million cars off UK roads).
So yes, we are improving but we can do better still. The idea that, on average, UK households still throw away on average six meals per week is obscene, especially when you consider that nearly one billion people go hungry around the world. Reducing food waste is one element of the current food crisis we can all tackle. And this would save the average UK household almost £60 a month.
When we throw away food we do not only waste your money but we also wastewater, supplies, energy and valuable resources that are necessary to bring food from field to fork.
Here are some other statistics highlighted by the WRAP report:
- Of the 4.2 million tonnes of good food (worth £12.5 billion) that gets wasted, over half hasn’t even made it onto a plate! It goes straight into the bin from our fridges or cupboards
- Everyday essentials are in the top three foods that Britons are throwing away – bread, potatoes and milk (usually thrown away because it had either gone off or passed the date on the packaging).
- Sadly we still throw away as much fish and meat in 2012 as we did in 2007 and a startling 86 million chickens are wasted from our homes every year.
If you are looking for ways to throw less food away read our article on 12 easy ways to reducing food waste.
The website Love Food Hate Waste has also a lot of resources that can also help.
For more Food Waste Facts visit Tristam Stuart Waste.