Scotland Generates £1 Billion in Food Waste Every Year

Scotland Generates £1 Billion in Food Waste Every Year

Food waste

In the biggest research project of its kind in Scotland, the huge financial and environmental burden is spelled out in "The Food We Waste in Scotland," published on Wednesday by the nonprofit Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) Scotland.

The report claims Scottish households throw out 570,000 tonnes of food and drink each year, most of which could have been avoided if it had been planned for, stored or prepared better.

This is a loss to the average household of £430 every year (US$703), or families with children it is higher at £550 (US$900).

Half of the good food thrown out for council collection was whole and uneaten, with one in seven items still in their packaging.

One of the worst parts of the survey revealed that at least £18m worth of food and drink was still within its 'use by' or 'best before' date.{related_content}

Based on a survey of 1,169 homes across Scotland, the most common items thrown away were milk (31,000 tonnes), sliced bread (25,000 tonnes), fizzy drinks (23,000 tonnes), potatoes (19,000 tonnes) and ready meals or snacks (14,000 tonnes).

WRAP Director for Scotland, Iain Gulland, said: "This new research shows the massive financial and environmental burden of food waste.

"Scottish households are throwing out huge amounts of food, most of which could have been eaten, and this costs us dearly.

"Not only are we paying for this food at the checkout, we are also paying to dispose of it through our council tax, this is a terrible waste in these difficult economic times."

[Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Edie News.]

Photos CC-licensed by Flickr users specialkrb and Christina Welsh (Rin).