I believe we can move towards a ‘zero waste economy’ and make the right choices. This doesn’t mean that no waste exists, but a society where resources are fully valued, financially and environmentally. It means we reduce, reuse and recycle all we can, and throw things away only as a last resort – just until technology allows us to recycle everything.
Almost 50% of the total amount of food thrown away in the UK comes from our homes. We throw away 7 million tonnes of food and drink from our homes every year in the UK, and more than half of this is food and drink we could have eaten.
Wasting this food costs the average household £470 a year, rising to £700 for a family with children, the equivalent of around £60 a month.
The two main reasons why we throw away good food is the following: we cook or prepare too much or we don’t use it in time. The foods we waste the most are fresh vegetables and salad, drink, fresh fruit, and bakery items such as bread and cakes.
Food waste report shows UK families throw away 24 meals a month, and Britons are throwing away 4.4m tonnes of food and drink every year that could have been consumed.
Almost half of this is going straight from fridges or cupboards into the bin. One-fifth of what households buy ends up as waste, and around 60% of that could have been eaten.
The top three foods being thrown away uneaten in British homes are bread, potatoes and milk. The equivalent of 24m slices of bread, 5.8m potatoes and 5.9m glasses of milk are being wasted daily while even cakes and pastries make it into the top 10 most wasted items.
The main reasons for the waste are consumers buying more than they need, lack of clarity around storage and labelling and over-estimating portions.