Scotland has set the baseline figure from which it will aim to reduce its food waste by 33% by 2025.
An estimated 1.35 million tonnes of food and drink was wasted in 2013, according to figures released by charity Zero Waste Scotland (ZWS).
This means the country now aims to produce around 460,000 fewer tonnes of food and drink waste in 2025, accounting for higher arisings expected from population growth.
ZWS’s report How much food and drink waste is there in Scotland shows that most food was wasted in households (48%) and manufacturing (38%).
Other sectors producing food waste are:
- Hospitality: 4%
- Retail: 2%
- Education: 2%
- Health and social care: 2%
- Wholesale: 1%
But food losses incurred in primary production have been excluded from the baseline figures, pending “further work to quantify this through better data”.
The charity also published an update showing that there has already been a 5.7% reduction in household food waste between 2009 and 2014.
Environment secretary Roseanna Cunningham (pictured above) said: “This research from ZWS, together with the work that we are doing to measure food that does not make it off the farm, will set the baseline against which we will measure our target.
“We will now collaborate with organisations from all sections of the supply chain to develop options for policy interventions to meet our target.”
ZWS chief executive Iain Gulland (pictured below) said: “While household food waste remains the biggest sector, the fact that more than half comes from business and public sector shows that we need clear leadership in these areas to make the transformative change we all want to see.
“We have made a good start. Since putting the issue of food waste on the map, we have worked to reduce household food waste, resulting in a 6% decrease. We are also providing small and medium-sized businesses with dedicated advice and support to reduce their food waste and related costs.
“We look forward to working further with the Scottish Government and partners to develop additional priorities for action that will continue to influence behaviour, so that wasting food, at any level, is socially unacceptable.”
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