It is estimated that seven million tonnes of food and drink are thrown away every year by people in the UK. Approximately one fifth of this is food that could have been consumed, equating to 1,400,000 tonnes in total (the equivalent weight of over 250,000 bull elephants). This is an astounding quantity of waste which has a significant environmental, social and economic impact on both the UK and the planet.
Figures released earlier this year have discovered that recommendations to food banks have risen by 163% with more than 900,000 people who require food banks. 50% of these referrals are a result of benefit delays or cuts, leading to 582,933 adults and 330,205 children who depend on food banks to eat. With the UK having the sixth richest economy globally, this number of people going hungry is a real issue, especially with the vast quantities of decent food going to waste. Last year, almost 2,500 tonnes of food was contributed to food banks, which is an incredible figure– but this only makes up a mere 3% of 7 million tonnes of binned food. The difference the food could have made had it not been thrown away would have been great for those in need, as well as to the environment.
As well as accepting food donations, food banks gladly welcome monetary contributions, for example Best of Suffolk, a company specialising Suffolk cottages and other holiday cottages in the area recently donated £3,000 to the East Suffolk Food Bank, a scheme seeded by the Trussell Trust. Business director, Naomi Tarry describes that “The ability to feed yourself and your family is such a basic need that needs to be met”. So, contributing to a needy cause can be done so by…?
Needlessly throwing away food is very costly as well. Although binning that moulding banana might not seem like that much, it all adds up in the long run. On average, the price of discarded food is setting back the average household by almost £470 each year. For families with offspring, food waste can amount to approximately £60 each month, equating to £700 a year.
Intentionally planning meals, writing shopping lists and not getting fooled by offers is a great way to reduce the household waste and the binning of excess food.
The planting, growing, harvesting and packaging of food can all immensely contribute to both an individual’s carbon and water footprint. A small percentage of people are aware that it takes a shocking twenty of litres of water to produce a single egg and if you throw that away, you’re basically throwing away all that water. The waste of decent food is presently connected for almost 5% of the UK’s total water footprint.
Additionally, wasted food is accountable for a substantial amount of the UK’s carbon footprint. If no food was made futile whatsoever in the UK, the carbon saved would be equal to taking one quarter of the cars of the of the road.
To lessen your waste in your home, attempt and make an active attempt to be alert of the food you have in your refrigerator and cupboards and plan your weekly meals to try and use what needs eating before everything expires. By simply not throwing food away, you will be shrinking the impact you are having on the environment and will help save yourself valuable cash.