How everyone can work together to tackle food waste

Food waste occurs throughout the whole food supply chain from the production of the food right through to our homes.

Although household and hospitality food waste is a problem, there's a degree of wastage throughout the chain from farms through distribution, shops, supermarkets and us – the consumer.

However, there is good news. The UK is making significant steps in reducing its food waste, with total food waste levels falling by 480,000 tonnes between 2015 and 2018 – a 7% reduction per person (the same as filling London’s Royal Albert Hall ten times). 

The annual progress report for the UK’s Food Waste Reduction Roadmap, published by WRAP and IGD, showed a growing adoption of the Target-Measure-Act approach to food waste prevention with more than 70 new organisations committing to the Roadmap in the past twelve months. Burger King UK, McDonald’s UK and Pret A Manger were the latest to join the Roadmap. 

There are many practical things we can all do to play our part in reducing food waste. Watch Emma's top five 'waste not, want not' tips: 

The whole supply chain has worked together to reduce food waste, from farmers to supermarkets. This includes the big stores committing to selling wonky veg.

An earlier report from WRAP (the Waste and Resources Action Programme) in early 2020 showed that UK households still waste 4.5 million tonnes of food that could have been eaten, worth £14 billion every year - or £700 for an average family with children.

WRAP's Love Food Hate Waste campaign is helping to raise public awareness of food waste. Check out their website for some handy tips.

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Our top tips on reducing food waste

Get more tips from WRAP here.

We want to hear from you! How do you reduce food waste in your house? Let us know in the comments box below.

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The rise of wonky veg

The increasing interest in reducing food waste has led to a consumer drive to buy fruit and vegetables which might otherwise go to waste (wonky veg). Wonky might not be the normal shape, they might be smaller than usual, or they might simply have an unusual crack in the skin, but they all taste the same, and us shoppers love them. 

Initiatives retailers use to reduce food waste:

Lidl - introduced ‘Too Good to Waste’ fruit and vegetable boxes, containing items that are no longer considered at their perfect best, but are still perfectly good to eat. 

Aldi - Everyday Essentials range includes wonky veg sold at a cheaper price than Aldi’s other core range fruit and vegetable products.

Morrisons - committed to buying whole crops from farmers across the UK and introduced its Wonky range, including wonky selection boxes. 

Tesco - 'Perfectly Imperfect’ range offers the opportunity to buy fruit and veg that was previously outside of its specifications. They are also set to remove ‘best before’ dates on some fruit and veg to further help reduce perfectly edible food being thrown away. 

Asda - The supermarket has a Wonky Veg range.

Related categories: Food Food waste

Last edited: 25 September 2020 at 11:36

Have your say

Polly Sampson - 25/10/2020 14:47:58

Your photo shows peelings being collected but there is no editorial about it! If people were encouraged to compost their peelings so many tons of vegetable waste could be prevented to going to landfill! Win, Win!

Linda Churchill - 24/10/2020 17:28:30

I always alternate between slight fuming that such 'hints' are necessary and that such scary amounts of food waste exist. We dont have food waste - being of the generation that used 'leftovers' without the stigma attached to the inverted commas - we have dogs that eat bits of veggie and meaty/fishy bits that we dont - peelings got to compost-bin and as a sign of the times....... our small dustbin bag consists of plastic and cellophane packaging, chicken or fish bones and our filled dog pooh bags. I am not trying to preach but just to say.

Margaret Bleakley - 24/08/2020 08:18:16

Abolish BOGOF and 3 for £7.00 or buy in quantity for less. Just reduce the price to encourage customers to shop. Too shocking that it is impossible to buy one stamp at supermarkets, or almost impossible to buy one of anything

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