Food waste

Total food waste has fallen by 7% over the last three years in the UK, according to a report by Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP).

This amounts to almost a 480,000-tonne food waste reduction – enough to fill Royal Albert Hall ten times. However, WRAP says further reduction is necessary to help tackle climate change as 4.5 million tonnes of household food is still wasted every year.

Citizens have saved over £1 billion per year compared to 2015 by reducing food waste. Nevertheless, £14 billion worth of food is wasted every year, amounting to £700 for an average family and 10 billion meals in the trash.

Marcus Gover, the CEO of WRAP, said: “We are in a new decade and have just ten years if we are to honour our international commitment to halve food waste. This really matters because it is untenable that we carry on wasting food on such a monumental scale when we are seeing the visible effects of climate change every day, and when nearly a billion people go hungry every day”.

“This great news announced today means we are starting to wake up to the reality of food waste, but we are too often turning a blind eye to what is happening in our homes. We are all thinking about what we can do for the environment and this is one of the most simple and powerful ways we can play our part. By wasting less food, we are helping to tackle the biggest challenges this century – feeding the world whilst protecting our planet.”

However, WRAP’s annual citizen survey suggests that only less than half of the population is aware of the impacts of food waste on the environment. One in three members of the public are classified as being high food wasters. The UK’s most wasted food item is the potato, amounting to 714,000 tonnes annually.

Businesses have reduced their food waste by 4%, but WRAP says more needs to be done to halve global food waste by 2030.