Food Waste: The Statistics

Currently, 1.3 billion tonnes of food are wasted worldwide each year. This causes environmental issues because the majority of food that is thrown away goes to landfill where it rots and releases methane, a harmful greenhouse gas.

The Numbers

On average, UK households throw away 7 million tonnes of food waste annually. That is equal to throwing away £13 billion each year.

In the UK, 40% of fruit and vegetables is already discarded before it even makes it to the supermarket shelves. This is mainly down to cosmetic reasons as shoppers are less likely to buy ‘wonky’ or misshapen produce.

Additionally, the packaging and energy used in food production, transportation and storage is subsequently wasted when food is thrown away.

Unavoidable Food Waste

Sometimes, wasting food cannot be helped. Things such as teabags, banana skins and egg shells do not make for great snacking. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean they need to be thrown away either.

Create your own compost: food scraps, tea bags, fruit peels and egg shells are ideal to throw into a compost bin. Once your compost is ready, you can spread into your flowerbeds to give your plants nutrient-rich food.

Where possible, buy fruit & veg from local farmers and food markets. Learn to love ‘ugly’ vegetables – great taste comes in all shapes and sizes!

Finally, shop wisely. ChicP, Snact and Rubies in the Rubble are companies that are turning unwanted vegetables into hummus, crisps and relish. This prevents so much edible food being taken to landfills and helps us enjoy food we might have otherwise overlooked.

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