The UK’s hospitality and food service sector throws away food worth around £2.5bn every year, according to a new WRAP report.
The study, Overview of waste in the UK Hospitality and Food Service (HaFS) sector, details waste produced in nine subsectors, such as healthcare, education, staff catering, services, conventional and quick service restaurants, hotels, pubs and leisure.
It provides a breakdown of the type of food being wasted, as well as the cost of this food waste for each subsector.
“Overview on waste in the UK Hospitality and Food Service sector is the most in-depth study of the sector ever undertaken in the UK,” claimed Charlotte Henderson, programme manager hospitality and food service at WRAP.
She stressed that the report outlined a business case to reduce food waste.
“When you consider the average annual cost per outlet is an estimated £10,000, it makes business sense to save money by reducing food waste,” she said.
Other findings include:
- The total annual waste including food, packaging and other non-foods produced across the sector is 2.87 million tonnes.
- Some 46% of this is recycled, sent to anaerobic digestion or composted,
- Some 62% of packaging and other non-food waste is recycled,
- The highest level of recycling is of glass and cardboard,
- Some 56% of packaging and other non-food waste thrown away could have been readily recycled.
To support the sector in reducing waste and recycle more WRAP has created a new microsite.
In June 2012 the organisation launched a voluntary commitment, the Hospitality and Food Service Agreement, which now has 171 signatories and supporters.
The commitment includes two targets, reducing food and associated packaging waste arising by 5% by the end of 2015 against a 2012 baseline and increasing the rate of food and packaging waste being recycled, sent to AD or composted to at least 70% by the end of 2015.