Half Of Food Waste Binned Before It’s Even Touched, WRAP Finds

24-06-14(2)picOne million tonnes of what was once good food and drink is going to waste without a bite being taken, according to a new report from WRAP.

WRAP’s Love Food Hate Waste is setting out to change kitchen habits and save the average person up to £200 per year, simply by not throwing away the food and drink they buy.

It says that by doing just one thing differently it’s possible for us all to make a difference and prevent our food from becoming waste.

Research found that 50 percent 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.

The price of food and drink that we throw away “untouched” is £2.4bn, or around £90 per household per year.

Emma Marsh, Love Food Hate Waste – “We all have our own reasons for why food gets thrown away at home, so there isn’t a one size fits all solution”

Despite improvements, almost half of whole or unopened food and drink waste is fresh vegetables and salads. We currently waste 13bn 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.

The new findings demonstrate that small changes to the way we shop, store, cook and eat food can lead to big changes.

Using insight to target industry and consumer action is vital, and was hugely instrumental in helping to reduce household food waste by 21 percent from 2007-2012. The new Household Food & Drink Waste: a product focus report builds on this by identifying new areas to tackle, through focusing on why and when food waste occurs.

Three of the report’s main recommendations are:

  • Ensure packaging design and storage guidance help consumers keep food fresher for longer and build upon the work of Love Food Hate Waste’s Fresher for Longer initiative
  • Maximise the length of shelf life and use a ‘best before’ date on perishable foods, where possible
  • Accelerate the roll out and increase public awareness of the ‘freeze before date mark’ label (replacing ‘freeze on day of purchase’).

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 efforts.

“We hope this report will inspire more people to think about what they can do and seek out advice from WRAP to help them save money and avoid waste.” 

Liquid Green Machine

To support the launch of the new report, WRAP will launch the “Liquid Greens Machine” Breakfast Truck to deliver breakfast ideas with a difference.

Serving up healthy fruit and vegetable smoothies made from ingredients that would otherwise have been thrown away, the vehicle offers a chance to try some great tasting treats and get inspiration on ways to use up some of the food that most often gets thrown away.

Emma Marsh adds: “The Liquid Greens Machine is just one example of a creative way for people to experiment with the good food and drink they buy and try making something delicious and different.”

WRAP will also take Love Food Hate Waste to 10 cities across the UK to raise awareness of the issue.

CLICK HERE for the full report


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