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Reduce Food Waste

Reports by the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) tell us that 4.5 million tonnes of edible food is thrown away each year by UK households. Shockingly, 25% of this wasted food is due to cooking, preparing or serving too much - this costs UK households £3.5 billion each year. 13% of the food we buy to eat at home ends up in the bin and that not only wastes money but  takes its toll on the environment too.

WRAP have analysed the total greenhouse gas emissions linked to the production and consumption of food & drink consumed in the UK, showing the scale of emissions reductions achieved between 2015 and 2019 – and estimates of further emissions reductions that could be achievable by 2030.

Some of the key findings are that:

  • Total UK food system emissions in 2019 were estimated to be 158 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent  which is 35% of UK territorial emissions – though not all of these food system emissions occur in the UK.

  • Within this, emissions linked to the production & distribution of food that becomes waste are around 36 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (23% of total food system emissions).

  • There has been about 8% absolute reduction in greenhouse gas emissions associated with the UK’s food & drink system between 2015 and 2019 but the majority of this reduction (> 80%) is due to decarbonisation of the UK’s electricity grid. Read the full report.

Through the Courtauld Commitment, WRAP has brought together organisations from across UK the food and drink system to make the sector more sustainable. The Courtauld Commitment is WRAP’s flagship voluntary agreement for the industry and enables collaborative action across the entire UK food system, to help the sector achieve global environmental goals. The most recent version of the Commitment – Courtauld 2030 – sets a new and ambitious target of achieving a 50% reduction in the GHG emissions that are associated with food and drink consumed in the UK by 2030 (taking 2015 as a baseline). Read the full report.

So what can your household do to contribute to achieving that 2030 target by reducing your food waste?

WRAP have developed a ‘Love Food Hate Waste’ website shining a light on how simple behaviours to reduce food waste can save time and money. This will ultimately reduce the impact of food waste on climate change.

Linked from the headings and images below  are some of the simple changes suggested on the ‘Love Food Hate Waste’  website - if we all make just some of them, it will add up to make a difference for our planet.

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Good food habits

  • Plan to stay ahead

  • Think before you shop

  • Stay in control shopping

  • Storing your food after shopping

  • Keep an eye on fresh food

  • Eat every edible morsel of food

  • ‘How do I’ guides on writing shopping lists, creating flexible and simple meal plans, making sense of food date labels

Click on the image for details of these good food habits

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Take the guesswork out of portion sizes

Use a portion calculator based on average recommended portion sizes to work out how much to cook.

Click on the image to access the portion calculator


Recipes for leftovers

Try out some great recipes for using up leftovers from the ‘Love Food Hate Waste’ website.

And you will find more on the BBC Good Food website 

Click on the image and links to access lots of great recipes

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7 ways to keep the food in your fridge fresher for longer

  • Check your fridge is cool enough

  • Use a fridge thermometer

  • Shut the fridge door

  • Don’t store your milk in the fridge door

  • Store foods on the right shelves

  • Don’t put hot food straight into the fridge

  • Keep your food cool on the way home from the supermarket

Click on the image for  details of these 7 tips

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Make your food go further

Store, freeze and reheat

Guides to:

  • Lunchbox leftovers

  • 7 food you never knew you could freeze

  • Common questions and answers

Click on the image to access the tips and guides

WRAP also organise national Food Waste Action Weeks and the theme for the 2023 campaign is ‘Win. Don’t Bin.’ Visit the campaign website which offers prizes generously donated by their sponsors for taking their food waste quiz.


Visit the WRAP website

Visit the WWF website on food loss and waste

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