There is no way to sugar-coat this piece of news. While millions of children around the world die each day due to lack of food, the British throw away 4.2 million tons food and drinks, which in some cases is not even touched and goes straight from the fridge to the bin.
The worst part of all is that more than 60% of this food has been in a perfect to eat quality.
The striking numbers come from a report by the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP). The authors estimated that every month, an average British household wastes 60 GBP (97 USD) on food that is not consumed, meaning that Britons throw away one full meal a day.
The statistics also translate into 96 million chickens, 24 million slices of bread, 5.8 million potatoes, and 5.9 million glasses of milk being wasted every single day. If the amount of carbon that is released to the atmosphere due to food waste is reduced, it will equal reduction of emissions generated by every fourth car on the road.
To some of us the results of the study are quite shocking, but surprisingly, the numbers indicate that food waste in the UK has dropped by 21% since 2007 and, according to specialists, this is already quite an achievement, considering that the number of households has risen drastically over that period. The aim now is to further reduce the amount of waste by 1.7 million tons a year by 2025.
In order to reach the target, retailers should rethink the way they package goods, and the offers they provide to consumers. Currently, people throw away food, not only because of deals on large quantities, but also because they are simply unaware of how to store goods that are not consumed at the time of purchase. Tesco, for example, one of the leading retailers in the country, have already agreed to cut down on their promotions and multi-buy items.
The chief executive of WRAP, Dr Liz Goodwin, and Andrew Opie, director of food and sustainability branch of the British Retail Consortium, urge governments, consumers, retailers and manufacturers to join efforts in what should become one of the UK’s biggest environmental priorities.