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.

Food waste is a huge issue. It requires an area almost the size of Wales to produce all the food and drink currently wasted in the UK. Latest statistics from WRAP (the Waste and Resources Action Programme) in early 2022 show UK households waste on average the equivalent of eight meals a week.

According to WRAP, this is equal to nearly 25 million tonnes of CO2 emissions, equivalent to 5.4% of the UK’s territorial emissions.

FACT: If wasted food were a country it would be the third largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world, after the U.S. and China.

The UK’s Food Waste Reduction Roadmap, published by WRAP and IGD, shows that organisations are adopting the Target-Measure-Act approach to food waste prevention, with more than 210 organisations committing to the Roadmap, including Burger King UK, McDonald’s UK and Pret A Manger. 

There are many practical things we can all do to play our part in reducing food waste. Visit the #FoodWasteActionWeek website to find out more.

Watch Emma's top five 'waste not, want not' tips: 

Latest statistics from WRAP show that there are financial benefits to reducing food waste, as well as environmental benefits. UK households still waste 6.6 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. During #FoodWasteActionWeek 2022, check out their website for some handy tips.

food waste - Countryside Online_72030

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.

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.

Wonky veg_72027

The rise of wonky veg

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.

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: 07 March 2022 at 14:05

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

Join the conversation

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.