New research shows the true scale of Scotland’s food waste

An estimated 1.35 million tonnes of food and drink in Scotland was wasted in 2013, according to new figures released today by Zero Waste Scotland.

24 Nov 16

This figure, which covers all quantifiable food and drink waste in Scotland, will be used as the baseline for the Scottish Government’s flagship target to reduce food waste by a third by 2025.

The figures come in our new report, 'How much food and drink waste is there in Scotland'?, which gives the most detailed insight yet into the true scale of the food we waste. It expands on existing work to quantify food waste from households in order to make an estimate for all sectors of the economy for the first time. 

“When we talk about the true scale of food waste in Scotland we need to look at the whole supply chain,” says Iain Gulland, chief executive, Zero Waste Scotland. “While household food waste remains the biggest sector, the fact that over half comes from business and public sector shows that we need clear leadership in these areas to make the transformative change we all want to see.”

Photo of the Cabinet Secretary for Environment Roseanna Cunningham meeting with Marissa Lippiatt, Head of Resource Efficiency at Zero Waste Scotland and Edward Murray, Chef and Co-Owner of Gardner’s Cottage – a sustainable restaurant in Edinburgh

The research shows the true scale of the challenge to achieve Scotland’s ambitious food waste reduction target. However, since putting the issue of food waste on the map, Zero Waste Scotland has worked hard with government and partners to reduce household food waste. 

Alongside the baseline figure, our research team has published an update on existing work to reduce household food waste. This shows that there has been a 5.7 percent reduction in household food waste between 2009 and 2014, which has resulted in savings to household budgets of £92 million.

Read the report 'How much food and drink waste is there in Scotland'?.

Read the full press release here.

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