Food waste is bad for the environment, weight for weight, it’s roughly ten times more damaging than packaging. It’s a waste of money and it affects our daily lives and communities more than you might think.
In Leicestershire approximately 40% of everything thrown into a domestic bin is food waste. That amounts to approximately 55,000 tonnes of food going to waste in Leicestershire every year. Nearly all of this food could and should have been eaten prior to finding its way to the bin.
Disposing of this mountain of food waste at landfill sites costs the County Council in excess of £4.5 million each year. The seven Leicestershire District and Borough Councils spend millions more collecting the waste from our homes prior to disposal. When the cost of buying the food that’s wasted is factored in, food waste is thought to cost Leicestershire residents in the region of £123 million per year. That’s approximately £188 per Leicestershire resident, and it’s money better spent elsewhere.
On average one in five of the bags of food bought in Leicestershire will be thrown away uneaten. As well as wasting precious resources and damaging the environment, this costs households an average of £60 a month.
Food waste isn’t harmless. It’s linked to increased living costs, rising debt, poverty, poor diets and ill health. It’s also linked to climate change, habitat destruction and severe weather events which threaten our ability to feed ourselves in the future.
These are big issues that affect us all on a local and a global scale, but which also present an opportunity. Reducing food waste in your household could save you up to £700 per year, and also help to combat some of the environmental and social issues described above. For example, the UN estimate that if we could collectively reduce our food waste by one third, we could eliminate malnutrition globally.
It’s time to take action, so you might want to:
- Read more below and follow the seven simple tips
- Visit the Love food Hate Waste website and find out more
- Find out more about food waste prevention events in Leicestershire
- Seek advice with a specific food waste issue from an expert (via facebook)
Love Food Hate Waste is a food waste prevention campaign that offers a set of simple tactics proven to help reduce the amount of food wasted in the home. Adopting these tactics can help you save up to £60 per month on your food bills, that’s over £700 per year. Read more to discover the tactics and start saving
Reducing your household food waste
Research shows that doing simple things like meal planning and understanding food date labels can help to reduce food waste and help people save significant amounts of money on food bills.
Doing all the things listed below will help you reduce your household food waste:
- Plan your meals – Plan your meals for the week ahead to avoid overbuying.
- Get to know your dates -Foods are safe to eat after the ‘best before’date, but may no longer be at their tastiest. Fresh items must be eaten before the ‘use by date’ to avoid health risks.
- Use a shopping list – This will save you time and money by only buying what you need.
- Love your leftovers – There are lots of great recipes to transform any leftovers into tasty meals.
- Portion properly – Cooking and serving too much food means that you are more likely to waste it. It also costs extra in gas / electricity to do so.
- Make the most of the freezer – Many fresh foods can be frozen such as vegetables, meat, fish, milk, whipped cream, bread, cakes, hard cheese, even bananas. Just remember to portion, label and date things as you freeze them.
- Get savvy with storage – Foods last a lot longer and keep in better condition if stored appropriately.
How much could you save by reducing your food waste?
Its hard to estimate how much money you might save by trying to reduce food waste in you household, but the facts below might help you to make an estimate.
- On average 14% of all money spent on household food and drink is wasted.
- An average household (of 2.4 people) wastes on average £470 buying food that goes to waste each year. That’s £9 per week.
- Larger households with children are likely to waste up to £720 per year on wasted food,. That’s £13.84 a week.
- Single occupancy households waste on average £290 per year on food that is wasted. that’s £5.57 a week.
Research shows that people who do the things listed above save money, but they also tend to spend less time shopping for food too.
Find out more:
There is a growing movement against food waste. If you want to find out more about the issue and the type actions people and communities are taking to combat food waste, try the examples linked below:
Did you know?
Research shows that most people don't realise how expensive wasting food really is.