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Food waste falls by 7% per person in three years, says Wrap

24 Jan 2020
The UK is making ‘significant steps’ towards reducing its food waste, with the total food waste levels falling by 7% per person between 2015 and 2018.

The 7% reduction per person is equivalent to filling London’s Royal Albert Hall ten times and the total volume of food waste decreased by 480,000 within the three year period. 

The new data comes from WRAP’s latest Courtauld Commitment 2025 milestone report, which revealed that households and businesses are now tackling the food waste problem at an 'accelerated rate'. 

Government Food Waste Champion Ben Elliot said: “These new statistics are extremely encouraging and demonstrate a big step in the right direction. However, we must still keep marching – more needs to be done, across every business and every household, if we are to hit the milestone targets set out in the Courtauld Commitment 2025 report.”

However the report also highlights that UK households still waste 4.5 million tonnes of food that could have been eaten (worth £14 billion every year). The volume of food waste equates to ten billion meals. 

Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers, added: “Each year, tonnes of good-quality, nutritious food needlessly goes to waste, harming our environment and climate. As a world-leader in the fight against food waste, it is good news that we are making a real difference. 

“But while this is encouraging, there is more to be done – and I urge all households, individuals and businesses to consider how they can reduce their own food waste footprint to create a better world for generations to come.”

Wrap says more businesses need to ‘step up their action’ on food waste in order to halve global waste by 2030. The decrease in household waste has been attributed to WRAP’s Love Food Hate Waste campaign, clearer labelling on food packaging and local authorities offering residents separate food waste collections. 

Marcus Gover, chief executive of Wrap, commented: “We are in a new decade and have just ten years if we are to honour our international commitment to halve food waste. This really matters because it is untenable that we carry on wasting food on such a monumental scale when we are seeing the visible effects of climate change every day, and when nearly a billion people go hungry every day. 

“This great news announced today means we are starting to wake up to the reality of food waste, but we are too often turning a blind eye to what is happening in our homes. We are all thinking about what we can do for the environment and this is one of the most simple and powerful ways we can play our part. By wasting less food, we are helping to tackle the biggest challenges this century – feeding the world whilst protecting our planet.”

Wrap will continue to work closely with the Government, public sector caterers, businesses and citizens to address food waste problems throughout 2020.