Brits throw away almost 80 million usable food items per week

Supermarket vegetables

To mark Stop Food Waste Day today (26 April), food saving app Too Good To Go has released research that reveals British people are throwing away 80 million usable food items per week.

According to the research, the edible food being thrown away includes 18 million meat and dairy items, 22 million bread and pasta items, 30.9 million fruit and vegetables and 8.7 million sweets, crisps, and chocolate.

The research also shows that 24% of British people are spending more money on food than they were last year; however, 8% of them are also now wasting more. Too Good To Go says this is because consumers are unable to afford products that last longer in the fridge.

26% of people surveyed said they check the best-before date to determine if a product is still edible, while 13% taste a sample of the product to see if it’s fresh.

When it comes to meat and dairy, 47% of Londoners and 46% of people in Northern Ireland throw away at least 1-2 meat and dairy items per week. Those in East Anglia (26%), the South East (28%) and South West (28%) are more careful, with around a quarter of people throwing away at least 1-2 usable meat and dairy items.

Our belief is that you don’t need to sacrifice buying your favourite foods in order to be sustainable and save money.

Londoners and Northern Ireland were also found to be the most wasteful for fruit and veg items, with 68% and 65% respectively throwing away at least 1-2 edible fruit and vegetables per week, compared to 53% of people in Wales and 54% in Yorkshire.

The research also reveals that 71% of 18–34-year-olds are throwing away at least one piece of fruit or veg per week, whereas only 43% of those aged 55+ are doing the same. Similarly, almost a quarter of those aged 55+ claim to not throw any food away versus only 3% of 18–24-year-olds.

Commenting on the research, Sophie Trueman, Country Director of Too Good To Go UK and Ireland, said: “We know that everyone is feeling the pinch of the cost-of-living crisis and the price of everyday essentials has continued to soar.

“We are on a mission to fight food waste, something which is not only great for our planet, but can also help consumers cut costs – ultimately making their money go further.

“Our belief is that you don’t need to sacrifice buying your favourite foods in order to be sustainable and save money – you can instead adapt your habits, so you make the most out of everything you buy.”

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