Scots throw out £1bn of food every year

Scottish households are needlessly chucking away £1bn of food each year, according to WRAP Scotland (Waste & Resources Action Programme).

In the biggest research project of its kind in Scotland the huge financial and environmental burden is spelt out in, The Food We Waste in Scotland, published yesterday (2 September) by WRAP Scotland.

The report claims Scottish households throw out 570,000 tonnes of food and drink each year, most of which could have been avoided if it had been planned for, stored or prepared better.

This is a loss to the average household of £430 every year, or families with children it is higher at £550.

Half of the good food thrown out for council collection was whole and uneaten, with one in seven items still in their packaging.

One of the worst parts of the survey revealed that at least £18m worth of food and drink was still within its ‘use by’ or ‘best before’ date.

Based on a survey of 1,169 homes across Scotland, the most common items thrown away were milk (31,000tonnes), sliced bread (25,000tonnes), fizzy drinks (23,000tonnes), potatoes (19,000tonnes) and ready meals or snacks (14,000tonnes).

WRAP Director for Scotland, Iain Gulland, said: “This new research shows the massive financial and environmental burden of food waste.

“Scottish households are throwing out huge amounts of food, most of which could have been eaten, and this costs us dearly.

“Not only are we paying for this food at the checkout, we are also paying to dispose of it through our council tax, this is a terrible waste in these difficult economic times.”

Luke Walsh

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