Bread, salad and bananas among most-wasted foods, poll says

Habit of throwing away food could cost more than £25 a month

Lucy Brimble
Monday 26 September 2022 09:56 BST
Four-fifths of Britons throw away uneaten food at least once per week
Four-fifths of Britons throw away uneaten food at least once per week (Getty Images)

The foods Britons are most likely to bin include bread, salad leaves and bananas.

A poll of 2,000 adults found 81 per cent threw away uneaten items at least once a week, with milk, cucumber and potatoes among the most common.

Nearly four in 10 (37 per cent) forgot about things until they went off while 21 per cent struggled to use all the contents from multi-packs.

And while 67 per cent struggled to turn leftovers into new meals, 39 per cent binned things simply because they were bored of eating them.

Despite this, 98 per cent said they cared about food waste and 27 per cent wanted to become zero-waste, but did not know how.

The research was commissioned by Boursin. A spokesperson said: "People are increasingly committed to combatting food waste, but inspiration can be a real barrier to achieving this.”

The survey also found one-quarter of those who wasted food threw things away twice a week, amounting to 1.1kg or an estimated £26.97 per month.

Despite food caddies being widely available, 37 per cent still used the normal bin to dispose of unwanted leftovers.

However, 47 per cent felt guilty for wasting so much food, with saving money (63 per cent) and caring for the environment (60 per cent) the biggest drivers for change.

The survey also found 20 was the average age for Britons to become most concerned about food wast, with 81 per cent being raised to never waste what they eat.

However, one-fifth of those polled claimed their household rarely ate leftovers.

Four in 10 said they were happy to eat food past its sell-by date, with three days considered the acceptable time to keep it.

One-third are keen to turn leftover food and ingredients into meals as 24 per cent were aware of the direct impact it has on global warming and climate change.

Mary McGrath MBE, chief executive of the FoodCycle charity, said: “Last year, we managed to save 191 tonnes of food from going to waste, all of which was transformed into tasty meals and served at FoodCycle projects across the country.

"Our community meals are open to anyone that needs them and with bills continuing to rise, our services are needed more than ever.

"We work with supermarkets, small independent grocery stores and food distribution charities to source perfectly edible surplus food in a safe and responsible way.

"Our aim is to strengthen and build resilient communities by bringing people together to share healthy, delicious meals, so inspiration and effective, smart ingredients are intrinsic to our service.”

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