Facts on Food Sustainability and Waste

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WRAP has done lots of research to find out how much food is thrown away and why. Here are some of the highlights.

How much we throw out?

  • 3 million tonnes of food and drink is thrown away before it even gets into our homes
  • 8.3 million tonnes of food is thrown out by us at home
    • that's 6 kg/week from each household on average
  • 5.3 million tonnes of that was totally avoidable - so that's nearly 4kg/week not counting bones, tea leaves , vegetable peel and stuff like that - just food that was perfectly edible when we bought it.

The greenhouse gas emissions associated with all this waste are equivalent to around 20 million tonnes of carbon dioxide each year. Saving this would be like taking 1 in 4 cars off UK roads.

What did it cost us?

  • In all, 12 billion/year
  • 40/month for the average household
  • 57/month for the average household with children

What on earth did we do that for?

  • About half the avoidable food waste was because we cooked more than we could eat and didn't save it for later
  • Most of the rest was food we didn't get around to eating until it was too late and it had spoiled (or we thought it wasn't safe to eat).
  • Some of it was food which could be used with a bit more imagination
    • like if you take the crusts off your sandwiches you can save them for breadcrumbs or croutons
    • if you peel potatoes before cooking, well its up to you but leaving the skin on helps prevent the vitamins and minerals in the potato leaking out into the cooking water. Also the skin itself is excellent fibre.

You probably aren't aware how much you throw away because it isn't something you normally even think about. Have a rummage in your bin (with gloves on!) or try keeping a food waste diary for a week to see how you really do.

It isn't hard to reduce this ridiculous waste - here are some tips.

a croissant
10% of food waste is bakery goods
 signs falling into a bin
a lettuce
36% of food waste is salad and vegetables
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