Restaurants among ‘worst culprits’ for food waste

Restaurants waste almost five times more food than the average UK household - an amount deemed "unacceptable" according to the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA).

While hundreds of restaurants have taken steps to reduce food waste, the industry average remains high at half a kilo per diner.

SRA research shows that the average restaurant produces 21 tonnes of food waste a year, which works out as 0.48kg per diner per meal. According to WRAP, UK households produce 7.2m tonnes a year, which breaks down as 0.1kg per meal.

The SRA has called on the industry to take action and clamp down on these wasteful habits. Managing director Mark Linehan said the sector as a whole must do more.

“Diners and restaurants need to work together and start equating value with quality rather than quantity,” he maintained.

“Restaurants should also make diners feel more comfortable about asking, and diners should feel free to ask to take home leftovers from a meal for which they have paid.”

The SRA has its own ‘Too Good To Waste’ campaign, which has delivered encouraging results for those businesses signed up to it.

The Mexican street food restaurant group Wahaca for instance has reduced the amount food waste from diners’ plates by 20% since it started offering customers doggy boxes.

Maxine Perella

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