Climate action NGO WRAP is using the run up to Christmas to help avoid food going to waste through its Love Food Hate Waste and Recycle Now campaigns. Each year in the UK, approximately 6.6 million tonnes of food go to waste from our homes ( approximately 70% of the UK’s total food waste). This costs households around £14 billion a year, or £730 for an average family. It also produces 25 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions. 4.5 million tonnes is food that could have been eaten.
Of this food waste, the amount of poultry thrown away in one year could make 800 million Boxing Day curries. Enough potatoes are binned each year to make roast potatoes for Christmas Day for the whole country, for 48 years. And the amount of carrots thrown away every year could feed nine reindeers a carrot a day, for nearly 500,000 years!
Each Christmas, thousands of households log on to ‘Love Food Hate Waste’ to look for a tasty recipes to stop leftover festive foods going to waste, and for tips on how to freeze and reuse uneaten items.
Boxing Day is the busiest day for home chefs looking for inspiration to transform leftovers into tasty stomach fillers. The Love Food Hate Waste Portion Planner can help save money by guiding people towards the best number of parsnips and other trimmings to serve, no matter the number of guests. The A to Z Storage Guide shows how to keep any food in top condition for as long as possible, with WRAP showing earlier this year that fresh produce can stay fresher for longer in the fridge. With refrigerated apples lasting two and a half months longer than those in a bowl.
Fresh vegetables and salad are the most wasted food group in the UK. We waste 1.3 million tonnes of perfectly good fresh vegetables and salads every year, costing £2.7 billion. Swapping highly wasted fresh foods for frozen options could help to reduce food waste.
During the festive period (and year-round) you can find out what can and can’t be recycled in your area using Recycle Now’s Recycling Locator. Visits to Recycle Now and searches for the ‘twelve most commonly queried items’ rise significantly between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.
For more information visit wrap.org.uk.