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Total estimated annual food waste 9.5million tonnes with a value of £19billion, 70% of which was intended for human consumption. Edible food that gets thrown away is worth about £14billion a year.
43million tonnes of edible food are bought by households and on average 16% of bought food is thrown away. Households count for 70% of edible food waste which costs an average family about £720 a year.
There have been government initiatives to reduce waste with some success between 2007 and 2018 there was an 18% reduction in edible food wasted by households.
The environmental cost of the wasted household food is equivalent to 5.3million tonnes of carbon dioxide which is the same as pollution produced by 2.4million cars a year.
If we stopped throwing away the 710,000 tonnes of potatoes annually it would be the same as planting 5.4million trees.
Wasted food counts for more global greenhouse gas emissions than flying.
The food we waste would fill 38million wheelie bins.
Top three wasted foods – potato, bread and milk.
Every day UK homes throw away a total of 20million slices of bread, 4.4million potatoes, 1.2million tomatoes, 2.7million whole carrots, 3.1million glasses of milk, 920,000 whole bananas…..
It takes 22million m3 of water to produce 1 tonne of potatoes.
(Not all waste is wasted – local authorities may burn some to gain energy/use as fertiliser and much food that would have been wasted is now redistributed by charities – in 2018 the equivalent of 133million meals were redistributed)
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There are no accurate estimates of this but a study of two crops strawberry and lettuce showed £30million ended up as waste 9% of strawberry crops and 19% of lettuce.