According to the research, this is £2 billion more each year than previously estimated and reveals that an average household throws away £420 of good food each year. For an average family with children this rises to £610.
It was discovered that much of the good food that is thrown out annually has never even been touched and that it costs local authorities £1 billion a year to dispose of food waste.
Preventing this waste from landfill would also prevent the equivalent of 18 million tonnes of carbon dioxide being emitted.
Environment minister Joan Ruddock said: These finding are staggering in their own right, but at a time when global food shortages are in the headlines, this kind of wastefulness becomes even more shocking.
This is costing consumers three times over. Not only do they pay hard-earned money for food they dont eat, there is also the costs to all of us of growing, processing, packaging, transporting, and refrigerating food that only ends up in the bin.
Picture: top chefs show how to prevent food waste at launch of Love Food Hate Waste campaign last year