Producing, distributing, storing and cooking food uses energy, fuel and water. All of these emit greenhouse gases, contributing to climate change. If we all stop wasting food that could have been eaten, the benefit to the planet would be the equivalent of taking one in four cars off the road. The waste of good food and drink is associated with 4% of Scotland’s total water footprint.
In Scotland, we throw away the following every year:
- £63 million of dairy waste = enough milk for 500,000 bowls of cereal every day. 85,000 litres of milk is thrown out untouched – that’s the output of 1300 cows.
- £76 million of bakery waste = enough to make 800 million sandwiches!
- £190 million of meat and fish = enough to make everyone in Scotland a bacon buttie every Saturday for the next year!
- £79 million of fresh fruit waste = enough to give everyone in Scotland an apple a day for a month!
- £110 million of drinks = that’s enough to buy 330 million glasses of orange juice, which would meet Vitamin C requirements for everyone in Scotland for 8 months. 63,000 litres (that’s 165,000 cans) of fizzy drinks are thrown out every day.
Two thirds of what is thrown away could have been eaten if we had simply managed it better. The following are the main reasons we throw away food:
- We don’t check our cupboards before we shop, so overbuy
- We’re not sure what date labels mean or don’t keep a check on them
- Over-generous portioning ends in leftovers
- We don’t make full use of our freezers
- We don’t use up our leftovers
Check out the Love Food Hate Waste website (https://scotland.lovefoodhatewaste.com/) for ideas on how to avoid wasting food, and save an average of £198 per year per person into the bargain (in line with national average).
If you have any tips on avoiding or reducing food waste, please share them with us!