Britons dump ‘£1.2 billion’ worth of food in bins every year

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Britons dumped about £1.2 billion worth of fruit, vegetables and bread in bins every year, states a recent report citing “don’t know what to cook” as one of the main reasons for food wastage.

According to data based on research by the Censuswide, close to 76m items – an average of nearly three a household – are thrown away every week, with 914m potatoes, 733m tomatoes and 728m carrots ending up in dustbins each year.

In a poll conducted by Sainsbury’s, people admitted they felt guilty about the amount of food they threw away.

A fifth, however, explained the reason they wasted so much was they did not know what to cook. A similar proportion said they could reduce their food waste if they knew more recipes.

The report comes weeks after supermarket Morrisons announced it is scrapping “use by” date from milk packaging in an attempt to save millions of pints from being thrown away unnecessarily every year.

While the move was met with mixed reaction, the supermarket expects that the move will stop millions of pints of its own brand milk from being thrown away every year. Environmental charity WRAP estimates that 85 million pints of milk waste may be a result of customers sticking to ‘Use By’ labels or ‘once opened use within’ guidance – when products may still be good to consume.

The issue of food waste is coming to the fore as households, hit with rising shopping and energy bills, struggle to make ends meet. Sainsbury’s survey also found Britons started 2022 with ambitions to mend their ways, with one in five resolving to cut their food waste and one in 10 aiming to bring down their carbon footprint and buy second hand products.