UK Households squandering £12.5 billion each year through food waste
New research by the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP), a partner in the joint UN Environment Programme (UNEP)-Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) campaign to reduce food waste and loss, shows that… while household food waste in the UK has been cut by 21 per cent since 2007, families are still throwing out the equivalent of six meals every week. WRAP in early 2012 joined the global Think.Eat.Save – Reduce Your Foodprint campaign, which is aimed at cutting the one third of all food wasted or lost globally each year.According to WRAP, the encouraging reductions saved UK consumers almost £13 billion over the five years to 2012, but 4.2 million tonnes of household food and drink are still being thrown away annually—worth £12.5 billion.
WRAP said just under half of the avoidable food and drink waste in 2012 was discarded because it had either gone off or passed the date on the packaging.
“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,” said Dr Liz Goodwin, WRAP Chief Executive Officer.
«The UK is leading the way in tackling food waste and the 21 per cent cut is a terrific achievement by millions of people who have taken action, saved money and helped safeguard our natural resources. However, there is so much more to go for and I believe we should be going for it.
Dr. Goodwin said that a major effort to reduce food waste by a further 1.7 million tonnes by 2025 could save up to £45 billion.According to the research, the equivalent of 24 million slices of bread, 5.8 million potatoes and 5.9 million glasses of milk are wasted daily. Equally, 86 million chickens thrown away each year.The campaign harnesses the expertise of organizations such as WRAP, Feeding the 5,000 and other partners, including national governments, who have considerable experience targeting and changing wasteful practices. It aims to accelerate action and provide a global vision and information-sharing portal for the many and diverse initiatives currently underway around the world.