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Food: Waste Disposal

Volume 491: debated on Monday 20 April 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much food was thrown away (a) in tonnes and (b) as a percentage of total food sales in each of the last three years. (263906)

The Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) undertook research in 2007 to quantify the amounts and types of food waste being produced in the UK.

According to The Food We Waste report, UK households throw away 6.7 million tonnes of food every year.

Combining these data with estimates of quantities of food purchases from the Expenditure and Food Survey in 2007 suggests that 31 per cent. of the 21.7 million tonnes of food we purchase—roughly a third—is thrown away. Of this, 4.1 million tonnes, or 18 per cent. of the food we purchase, could have been eaten. Food thrown away that we could have eaten excludes items such as vegetable peelings, meat carcasses and teabags.