Food waste report shows UK families throw away 24 meals a month

A report finds Britons are throwing away 4.2m tons of food items and drinks each year that could have been eaten.

A typical UK family is losing almost PS60 every month, throwing away nearly a whole dinner every day as per an analysis, which reveals the extent of the ongoing challenge to reduce food waste from households.

Britons are throwing away an equivalent of 24 meals a day, which adds up to approximately 4.2 million tons of food and drinks each year that could have been eaten. Nearly half of this waste is thrown straight from refrigerators or cupboards into the garbage. A quarter of households purchase food that is discarded, and about 60% could have been used up.

There’s been no change in the reduction of the amount of fish and meat wasted, and Britons still wasting an equivalent of the equivalent of 96 million chickens each year. The three most popular foods destroyed in British homes are potatoes, bread, and milk. A total of 24 million pieces of bread slices, 5.8 million potatoes, and 5.9 million glasses of milk are being used daily. Even cakes and pastries can make it to the top 10 wasteful items.

The report by the waste advisory body of the government called The Waste & Resources Action Programme (Wrap) has revealed that, since 2007, the amount of the amount of food waste that households can avoid has decreased by 21% to 4.2m tonnes, which has saved the consumers nearly PS13bn each year.

Wrap claimed that waste needs to be reduced by a further 1.7m tonnes per year by 2025, which could save the equivalent of PS45bn. The company’s chief executive, Dr. Liz Goodwin, called on manufacturers, retailers, governments, and consumers to join a “major combined effort.”

“Consumers are seriously worried about the cost of food and how it has increased over recent years. Yet as Wrap’s research shows, we are still wasting millions of tonnes and billions of pounds,” she explained.

The primary reasons for the waste are that shoppers buy more than they need and confusion about the storage and labeling, and overestimating quantities, Wrap said. The carbon created by food waste from the home equals removing one of four vehicles away from UK roads.

The UK’s biggest company, Tesco, agreed to reduce the items it offers in multi-buys and other promotions after the retailer revealed that 35 percent of its bagged salad was thrown away. It also discovered that 40% of the apples were thrown away, while only a little less than half of bakery products.

Andrew Opie, British Retail Consortium director of sustainability and food Andrew Opie, director of sustainability and food at the British Retail Consortium, said: “There’s plenty to be pleased about in these figures. Avoidable household food waste has been reduced by 21% since 2007 and the progress is all the more impressive if one accounts for the growth of 1 million new households within that time. Cutting food waste in the home needs to be one of the UK’s biggest environmental priorities.”

He also said that retailers understand they’re judged based on the value they provide customers, “which means not only selling food at the right price but also making sure we can make the most of it. A range of approaches, including giving clear storage advice and recipe ideas, offering a wider range of portion sizes, and developing innovative packaging that extends the shelf life of products, has helped to drive significant reductions in the amount of food and drink we throw away.”

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