Wednesday 26th October 2016                 Change text size:

British shoppers throw away 10% of the weekly shop

British shoppers throw away 10% of the weekly shop

Many shoppers throw away food on the best before dateShoppers in the UK are throwing away on average £12 billion worth of food every year. Charlotte Reid has more.

The average British shopper admits that they throw away 10% of their food shop every week, with 8% saying they waste a quarter of the food they buy regularly, and 46% admitting to not knowing the correct way to store food.

With some tweaking to shopping habits, experts say households could save £50 a month.

The research, which was carried out by supermarket Sainsbury’s and the Government’s waste adviser, Wrap, shows that people waste their food in a variety of ways.

Jack Cunningham, Sainsbury’s head of climate change and environment, said, “No one wants to waste food, but unpredictable lifestyles and hectic schedules mean many think it is unavoidable.

In order to stop people being wasteful the supermarket is working with Wrap’s Love Food Hate Waste  campaign. It has identified six types of people who use waste food in different ways:
•    Hungry hoarders – people who shop when hungry so make impulse purchases rather than plan their meals
•    Ditsy diarists – shoppers who do not look at their diary before going to the supermarket , because they eat out a lot or often work late so leave the fridge full of unused food that is eventually thrown away
•    Food phobics – those that throw away food on or before the best before date without checking its condition first
•    Separate shoppers – those that shop without checking what their partner or housemate has already bought
•    Freezer geezers – people who freeze any leftovers to minimise food waste
•    Conscientious consumers – those who make meals out of their leftovers.

Sainsbury’s will be helping to tackle Britain’s wasteful problems by training in-store staff to give customers advice and practical tips.

Emma Marsh, head of Love Food Hate Waste, said that “the industry has a huge role to play in helping reduce the amount of food we waste.”

Marsh added that work by Love Food Hate Waste and Sainsbury’s was important because it “will help individuals enjoy their food more by learning to love their leftovers, which will help the environment and save money.”

While we recently reported that Department for Environment, Food and Rural affairs (Defra) announced household recycling has increased across England, with Rochford District Council in Essex topping the list, it is clear we still have a lot to do to reduce our non-recyclable waste.

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