Food: Waste

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered at on 29 March 2016.

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Photo of Greg Mulholland Greg Mulholland Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Campaigns Chair

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps she is taking to encourage households to donate unused food.

Photo of Greg Mulholland Greg Mulholland Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Campaigns Chair

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what estimate she has made of the average value of unused food thrown away by households in the last 12 months.

Photo of Greg Mulholland Greg Mulholland Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Campaigns Chair

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what estimate she has made of the average amount of unused food thrown away by households in the last 12 months.

Photo of Rory Stewart Rory Stewart The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Through the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP), the Government continues to work with the grocery sector to reduce household food waste. The Love Food Hate Waste programme helps UK households to reduce food waste and save money through awareness raising and consumer advice. There has been a 15% (1.3 million tonnes) reduction in household food waste between 2007 and 2012.

WRAP launched Courtauld 2025 on 15 March, which builds on the progress we have already made. This new agreement includes a target to reduce food and drink waste arising in the UK by 20% by 2025 (calculated as a relative reduction per head of population).

For the average household, the price of avoidable food and drink waste is £470 per year. For the average household with children, the cost of avoidable food and drink waste is £700 per year.

The total amount of food thrown away by the average household is 260 kg per year. 160 kg of this is avoidable waste. For the average household with children, this figure rises to 390 kg per year, including 240 kg of avoidable food waste.

These are the latest available figures, applying to 2012. WRAP aims to publish updated figures for household food waste later this year.

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