Earth & Environment

How much food do we waste?

vegUK supermarket giant Tesco has used it’s own newly published data and industry-wide figures to reveal how much food is wasted across the UK, providing a view of how and where food is wasted along the production chain for a major supermarket.

Figures published by the Waste and Resources Action Programme (Wrap) in 2011 estimated that 15 million tonnes of food was wasted each year in the UK. In the first six months of 2013, Tesco said that 28,500 tonnes of food was wasted in Tesco stores and distribution centres.

Some of the biggest wasted foods were bagged salads, with 65 % of them wasted (35 % being thrown out by customers), with 40 % of apples being wasted and 47 % of bakery items.

Five highlighted foods from the 25 most frequently purchased products from Tesco.

Apples11 %2 %<1 %27 %40 %Grapes6 %<1 %<1 %17 %24 %

Food Field Losses Processing Losses Retail Waste Consumer Waste Total Production Wasted
Bagged Salad 17 % 15 % 1 % 35 % 68 %
Bakery 5 % 14 % 4 % 25 % 47 %
Bananas 2 % 7 % 1 % 10 % 20 %

Of the 68 % of produce estimated to be wasted across the UK, Tesco said 35 % was thrown away by customers, 17 % was down to “field losses”, 15 % was “processing losses” and less than 1 % was wasted in stores and distribution centres.

Source: Tesco PLC