Household food waste falls

Household food waste has fallen by 13%, but the UK is still throwing away £12bn of edible food.



Since 2006/07, household food waste has fallen from 8.3 million tonnes to 7.2 million tonnes a year. However, the vast amounts of edible food waste ending up in bins leaves a “big job” to be done.


The results were published at the Waste & Resources Action Programme’s (WRAP) annual conference where chief executive Liz Goodwin remarked on the contribution the organisation has made to help businesses and families cut waste.


Key themes in the conference included food waste and better recycling services for businesses, both priorities for Wrap going forward.


Progress among the food retailers to engage on food waste issues and support WRAP’s ‘Love Food Hate Waste’ campaign to help people waste less were highlighted by the British Retail Consortium.


Next year more foodservice companies are set to get more publicly involved in delivering waste reductions. WRAP is leading discussions on a voluntary agreement for the sector.


Writing exclusively in October’s Foodservice Footprint, WRAP’s head of food and drink, Andy Dawe, said responsibility for the food being wasted does not sit solely on the doorsteps of UK homes.


“The hospitality industry has a considerable role to play too. Taking responsibility for actions through agreed targets set out in voluntary agreements has proved incredibly successful across a wide variety of industries. Any successful agreement needs the commitment of the industry itself, which is why we’re always keen for sector players to engage with us.”


According to WRAP, the hospitality sector produces 3.4 million tonnes of waste, of which 1.6 million tonnes is recycled, re-used or composted. That leaves almost 1.5 million tonnes, which is thrown away mainly to landfill.