Waste not want not

7 November 2013

How much perfectly good food goes into the mouth of the Bin God in your house? A new report shows that Britons are throwing away nearly £60 worth of food per household - that’s 24 meals a month. Or if you prefer a scary annual figure, that’s 4.2 TONNES A YEAR.


The government-backed Waste and Resources Action Programme (Wrap), who carried out the survey, said that the top 3 foods to chuck were milk, bread and potatoes – and we’re very squeamish about chicken and fish – throwing out the equivalent of 96 million chickens a year.

The good news is that we’re getting better at not wasting food – waste has been reduced by 21% since 2007. But Wrap are looking to cut food waste by a further 1.7 million tonnes by 2025 – and we need to do our bit.

But should it just be down to us? While we’re hardly a nation of skilled home economists, some of the fault has to lie with retailers, with their lily-livered sell by dates and one-size-fits-all portions. Also, when we shop, we’re in thrall to promotions, which often don’t add up to square meals.

With Tesco taking measures about food waste by scrapping BOGOFs and big bags of salad, as well as giving customers advice on what to do with leftovers, there’s a outside chance that by 2025 that wizened stick of celery at the back of the fridge won’t end up in the bin.

Instead, you will be eating it on a bed of stale bread, mouldy potatoes and aged chicken while crying softly to yourself. Bon appetit!


  • Captain.Cretin
    Please tell me how I can make 288 meals out of £60, or even where I can buy 4.2 TONNES of food for £60; I would be very interested; currently I pay nearly that for 20Kg of soya beans, or 40Kg of rice.
  • tom
    What, 24 *12 is 288, 4.2 tonnes/288. You are having a 14.5KG meal? No wonder you are so fat Lucy
  • Gordon B.
    4.2 million tonnes. Not 4.2 tonnes. Idiots, the lot of you.
  • jim
    gordon - its per household. i dont think any household throws away 4 million tonnes of rubbish. think the bin men would complain about that house
  • Gordon B.
    @jim - The statistic is that, in total, the UK throws away 4.2 million tonnes of food per year. It's just a bad copy/paste job by Lucy.
  • Dick
    If you throw away chicken bones, potato skins and orange peel (if you have no garden to compost them in) then this all gets included as food waste.
  • Tits M.
    I've been chucking old paving slabs in the bin the last few weeks rather than go to the tip, so the 4.2T may not be too far out.
  • hotmail r.
    None of the figures quoted make sense when compared to each other. Points already raised plus the fact that 96 million chickens per year would be over 115 tonnes without including anything else. If this is copy / pasted then I'm a vegetarian (and I'm not by the way), looks more like this has been read somewhere and rewritten in bitterwallet font (i.e. Spelt badly, auto-correction to include poor grammar and misread / mistyped / misunderstood facts). It's what I come here for! Well that, bumming foxes and hearing the sweet dulcet tones of Chewbacca's mum berate him.

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