The study by the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP), a government waste advisory body, titled Household Food and Drink Waste in the UK paints a grim picture of the impact on the environment of waste on this scale.

It says: “The greenhouse gas emissions associated with avoidable food and drink waste is the equivalent of approximately 20m tonnes of carbon dioxide per year.

“This is roughly 2.4% of greenhouse gas emissions associated with all consumption in the UK.”

The report estimates total annual UK household food and drink waste at 8.3m tonnes – 22% of the total brought into the home.

This is equal to 330kg per household each year or 6kg a week.

Of that, 2.2m tonnes is binned because too much is made or served and another 2.9 million tonnes because it was not used in time.

WRAP deems less of waste ‘truly unavoidable’ such as bones and peelings with most avoidable had it been better planned, stored and managed.

The average household wastes £480 a year of food and drink or up to £680 in households with children.

WRAP highlights the environmental cost of food and drink waste from both the energy used to produce, store and transport it to us and the methane released when it goes to landfill.

It says: “Food waste is also harmful to the environment. Throwing away food that could have been eaten is responsible for the equivalent of 20 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions every year.

“That’s the same as the CO2 emitted by one in every four cars on UK roads. Tackling the issue of food waste is an enormous challenge, not least because most of us don’t yet recognise the amount we produce.

“It is also a massive opportunity to reduce waste, save money and minimise our impact on the environment.”

To read the report published last Monday (November 9) visit the following link

Avoidable food and drink waste

* 860,000 tonnes of fresh vegetables and salads

* 870,000 tonnes of drink

* 500,000 tonnes of fresh fruit

* 680,000 tonnes of bakery

* 660,000 tonnes of homemade and pre-prepared meals

* 290,000 tonnes of meat and fish

* 530,000 tonnes of diary and eggs

* 190,000 tonnes of cakes and desserts

* 67,000 tonnes of confectionery and snacks

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie