ONE MILLION tonnes of what was once good food and drink is going to waste from our homes without a bite being taken, food experts reveal. WRAP’s Love Food Hate Waste is setting out to change our kitchen habits and save the average person up to £200 per year, simply by not throwing away the food and drink they buy. By doing just one thing differently it's possible for us all to make a difference and prevent our food from becoming waste.
In fact, 50% of the food that ends up being thrown in the bin because it hasn't been used in time hasn't even been touched and remains still whole or unopened. This amounts to one million tonnes of food and drink going to waste. Encouraging retailers, brands and manufacturers to continue to make changes to their packaging and products to make it easier to avoid food waste, and helping everyone do one thing differently, would reduce food waste, helping us financially while also bringing significant environmental benefits by reducing landfill and mitigating against climate change.
The price of food and drink that we throw away ‘untouched’ is £2.4 billion, or around £90 per household per year. This new report is a call to action to each and every one of us illustrating how by doing just one thing differently, such as checking cupboards, we can reduce food waste. Despite improvements, 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.
Choosing to do just one thing differently from checking cupboards before going shopping, to sticking to a list in store, to keeping fruit and veg in the fridge, to freezing what needs using up, to eating out of the freezer, or knowing what to do with 'tired' fruit or vegetables - each can make a huge difference.
The new findings demonstrate that small changes to the way we shop, store, cook and eat food can lead to big changes, helping people to do the one thing that might prevent their food becoming waste. Simply checking cupboards and the fridge before going shopping can help us avoid shopping by habit, which results in buying items we already have.
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”
Resources Management Minister Dan Rogerson said: “Everyone has a role to play in reducing food waste and we are determined to support food retailers, industry and consumers in their effort. We hope this report will inspire more people to think about what they can do and seek out advice from WRAP.”
Minister for Natural Resources and Food in Wales , Alun Davies said: “We can all take steps to make the best use of the food that we have bought. As well the environmental benefits, it makes financial sense. Consumers, manufacturers and retailers can make real cost savings.”
WRAP will take Love Food Hate Waste to ’10 cities’ across the UK to raise awareness of the issue, as well as helping people to make small changes but big savings. The campaign aims to help us all recognise the amount of food that we're throwing out and to demonstrate how by doing just one thing differently, we can dramatically reduce how much money we're wasting each and every week.
The '10 cities' 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, 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.