Half of food not used in time is binned before we've even taken a bite

A new report released today shows one million tonnes of what was once good food and drink is going to waste from UK homes without a bite being taken.  

29 Jun 14

The Love Food Hate Waste campaign, delivered in Scotland by Zero Waste Scotland, is setting out to change our kitchen habits and save the average Scottish household up to £470 per year, simply by not throwing away the food and drink they buy.  

The campaign aims to encourage people to do just one thing differently to make a big difference to the amount of food wasted. 50% of the food that ends up being thrown in the bin hasn't even been touched and is still whole or unopened. This amounts to one million tonnes of food and drink going to waste. Retailers including Asda, Morrisons, M&S, Sainsbury's, Tesco and The Co-operative Food will be supporting the campaign in their stores to help shoppers cut waste, through measures such as in-store cookery classes, recipe ideas and promotions. The campaign will also work with retailers, brands and manufacturers to make changes to their packaging and products to make it easier to avoid food waste.

The price of food and drink that we throw away in the UK ‘untouched’ is £2.4 billion, or around £90 per household per year. The new report was commissioned by WRAP, and is backed by a call to action for Scots to do just one thing differently, such as checking cupboards before going shopping, sticking to a list in store, keeping fruit and veg in the fridge, freezing what needs using up, or knowing what to do with 'tired' fruit or vegetables to cut their food waste. Fruit and veg is a particular focus area, as almost half of whole or unopened food and drink waste is fresh vegetables and salads. We currently waste 13 billion five-a-day portions each year and when it comes to fresh fruit, apples and oranges top the list of fruit that is purchased and then not eaten, while one in ten bananas go to waste.

Iain Gulland, Director of Zero Waste Scotland, said:  “Throwing out food that hasn’t been touched is like throwing money straight in the bin.  No-one wants to waste good food and good money in that way.  Zero Waste Scotland, through our support for campaigns like Love Food Hate Waste aims to help people to prevent food waste at home. 

“We are making strong process in Scotland to recycle unavoidable food waste such as veg peelings and egg shells, with over 50% of Scottish households now with access to a food waste recycling collection.  We must all also ensure we avoid food waste in the first place by getting the most from what we buy, and to help the environment.”

Emma Marsh, Head of Love Food Hate Waste said: "We all have our own reasons for why food gets thrown away at home, so there isn't a one size fits all solution. We want to be able to get people to look at the huge volume of food and drink that's ending up in the bin and consider the one thing they might do differently to make sure that food gets tasted, not wasted. Using the online Love Food Hate Waste portion calculator and free app can help everyone to cook just what is needed. In addition, there are hundreds of hints, tips and recipes that can offer the perfect solution.

“Retailers and brands also have an important role to play in making it easier for us to avoid throwing food away and I’m delighted to see great strides already being made through our work with them including smaller pack sizes, better storage guidance on pack such as moving to ‘freeze by the date shown’, and new innovative tools to help all of us waste less”

Love Food Hate Waste is planning intensive campaign activity to support an increased drive in food waste prevention in 10 major UK cities. The 10 cities provisionally taking part in the campaign are Belfast, Birmingham, Cardiff, Glasgow, Greater Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool City Region, Newcastle, Nottingham and Sheffield with support from the major food retailers across the UK, including Asda, Central England Co-operative Ltd, Morrisons, M&S, Sainsbury's, Tesco and The Co-operative Food. Launch events will take place between July and September 2014 as part of a wider comprehensive Love Food Hate Waste campaign running in each city.

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