Brits bin more than £1.17 billion worth of fruit and veg each year, says research

Photo by Jason Briscoe on Unsplash

£1.17bn worth of fruit, veg and bread is wasted every year by Brits, according to new research from Sainsbury’s.

The news comes as the retailer investigates changing attitudes towards New Year’s resolutions, revealing that that the average British household throws away nearly three items a week, or 75.6m as a nation.

Eating healthily is reported to top the resolution list this year, with 52% of Brits pledging to eat a more nutritious diet, up from 24% 20 years ago and 37% 10 years ago.

Meanwhile, despite only 14% of British adults setting a resolution to live more sustainably in 2012 and 11% in 2002, it’s reported to be top of many people’s agenda this year.

Reducing food waste (22%), recycling more (21%) and reducing carbon footprint (15%) are reported to make the list of top 10 resolutions set this January.

Food waste is a huge issue facing the British public, with research revealing the average UK household throws away 142 carrots, onions, tomatoes, courgettes, potatoes and loaves of bread a year. In fact, 8-10% of global greenhouse gas emissions come from food waste.

With over half (56%) of those surveyed admitting they feel guilty about the amount of food they throw away, it’s no surprise so many are looking to tackle their food waste habits head on in 2022.

However, 22% say the reason they waste so much is that they don’t know what to cook, with an additional 18% saying they could reduce food waste if they knew more recipes.

To help combat this, Sainsbury’s is encouraging its customers to make more homemade soup to use up vegetables that may have otherwise gone to waste, creating a host of recipes for its website.

Mark Given, Chief Marketing Officer at Sainsbury’s, commented on the findings: “At Sainsbury’s we’re committed to helping our customers eat better for their health and that of the planet, so it’s really encouraging to see that so many Brits are looking to create more sustainable and healthy habits to see them through 2022.

“Whether it’s using up leftover ingredients or batch cooking for busy days, our new soup recipes are designed to make eating better for both health and the planet as simple and affordable as possible.

“There’s a common misconception that making soup from scratch is difficult, but we’re determined to show our customers that this isn’t the case whilst providing them with healthier options that will also help them reduce their food waste, one bowl at a time.”

The move comes as the retailer pledges to halve food waste across its value chain by 2030, reporting to have already successfully reduced waste by over 5,000 tonnes in 2021.

More information about Sainsbury’s research is available on the retailer’s website.