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Bin analysis to find out our food waste habits

A three-month investigation into the nation’s food waste habits is underway by M-E-L Research and the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP).

Bin-sorting experts will develop a way of sorting and classifying the food waste dumped in the average householder’s bin, with a view to finding out how to reduce it.

With food waste contributing to the biodegradable organic fraction of our household waste stream and contributing to methane emissions, WRAP want to find out what food is being binned and why, and how the food retail and packaging industries can act to stop good food being thrown away.

Armed with the results of the research WRAP will develop a strategy with leading retailers and brand-owners to reduce the 5.2 million tonnes of household food waste generated in the country’s homes each year. It wants to reduce household food waste by 100,000 tonnes by the end of 2008 and hopes to encourage the composting of food waste that is generated.

M-E-L Research chief executive Dr Robert Pocock said: “If people are encouraged to buy too much food, the surplus may get discarded without ever being opened or used. Poor packaging may result in food deteriorating and being binned. Scraps and off-cuts may also get thrown away from food preparation.

“We want to look at all the causes of food waste and help WRAP find ways to cut this down.”

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