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Food waste is four times more than thought

29 January 2016

Families throw away four times more food than they think they do, according to research by YouGov. 

The study, on behalf of Sainsbury’s, found that Britons believe they throw away 10 meals a month, when they in fact throw away around 40.

Four million tonnes of edible food is binned annually in the UK, yet over 80 per cent of families believe they waste little or no food. 

Families estimate their average monthly household food waste to be around £30, when it is more like £58.30, the research found.

“Food waste is one of the biggest issues facing us all today and with households unaware of just how much food they are binning there is a huge food waste knowledge gap,” said Paul Crewe, Sainsbury’s Head of Sustainability.

“Customers have told us that food waste is their number one concern which is why starting today we’re investing £10 million to tackle it.”

Sainsbury’s has launched a campaign to tackle food waste. It will invest £1 million over the next year in a small Derbyshire market town called Swadlincote, which beat applications from 188 other UK towns to be the retailer’s test-bed for its food waste reduction campaign. 

It will invest in fridge thermometers, smarter kitchen appliances and the Olio app – which allows neighbours to share surplus or unwanted food. 

The goal is to reduce household waste in the town by 50 per cent, equating to a saving of £350 per household. 


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