New figures reveal fall in food waste

Households across the UK are wasting one-fifth less food than in 2007 – but what is wasted still costs us £12.5bn a year according to new research from WRAP.

7 Nov 13

The report Household Food and Drink Waste in the UK 2012 reveals we throw away 4.2 million tonnes of food which could have been eaten and almost half of this goes straight from our fridges or cupboards to the bin without even touching a dinner plate.

The total amount of UK household food and drink waste has reduced by 1.3 million tonnes to 7 million tonnes since 2007 and avoidable food and drink waste has reduced by 1.1 million tonnes from 5.3 million tonnes to 4.2 million tonnes.

This reduction is down to millions of consumers doing things differently in the home such as buying the right amounts, storing and freezing foods to keep them fresher for longer and making more use of leftovers. Doing so has saved UK householders £3.3bn in 2012 alone.

Helping householders and businesses to reduce food waste is a priority for Zero Waste Scotland, which runs the Love Food Hate Waste initiative and supports the Greener Scotland campaign.

Iain Gulland, Director of Zero Waste Scotland, said:

“Scotland is one of the countries that is leading the way in tackling food waste and by taking action householders across Scotland will have saved tens of millions over the past few years.

“But the scale of the waste across the UK is still a huge problem and an unnecessary drain on household finances.  With just a few simple steps like planning meals and freezing more food we can all start to reduce the amount we throw away.”

Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead said:

“Food waste is a global challenge which all of us - Government, individuals and businesses have a responsibility to address. 

“As well as our work with retailers and major brands, last year’s Scotland-wide food waste prevention campaign combined awareness raising with practical tips on how to reduce waste at home. The Scottish Government has invested £20 million to help local authorities roll-out food waste collections to households across the country, resulting in over one million households in Scotland now having a service to collect and recycle their food waste.”

Further Details

Report: Household food and drink waste in the UK 2012

News: Use your loaf and save billions

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