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WRAP report targets food waste

A new report by WRAP has found that around two million tonnes of food a year is thrown out by consumers because it is not used ‘in time’, and the organisation has highlighted ways to combat this waste.

According to WRAP, food passing a date accounted for around a third of disposals while food judged to have gone mouldy or stale by consumers made up the rest of the waste total. Around half of all food thrown away is done so either whole or in unopened packaging, which WRAP estimates is costing consumers around £2.4bn a year.

The main recommendations from the report are:

  • packaging design and storage guidance help consumers keep food fresher for longer
  • use a ‘best before’ date on perishable foods
  • increase the roll out and public awareness of the ‘freeze before’ date – which replaces the ‘freeze on day of purchase’ advice

It also sets out recommendations including the introduction of a range of pack sizes, that are still value for money, and offering smaller multipacks that will help meet the needs of changing demographics.

The publication of the report coincides with the launch of Love Food Hate Waste’s 10 Cities campaign, which encourages people in major urban centres to think about what they waste and the actions they can take to reduce it and save money.

The project will run in Birmingham, Greater Manchester, Newcastle, Sheffield, the Liverpool City region, Leeds, Nottingham, Cardiff, Glasgow and Belfast between now and 2016.

David Moon, head of food sustainability at WRAP said: “A significant amount of work has already been undertaken by the sector to introduce innovative approaches to keep food fresher for longer, but with 4.2Mt of edible food thrown away each year from the home, more needs to be done.

“These valuable insights will enable the food industry to target their interventions in the areas that will deliver the greatest reduction in food waste and save consumers money.”

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