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Food: Waste

Question for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UIN 3623, tabled on 22 October 2019

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps her Department is taking to encourage the public to (a) reduce and (b) recycle food waste.

Answered on

29 October 2019

Food waste is a financial, environmental and moral issue. The UK currently produces 10 million tonnes of food waste every year, and 70% of food waste comes from households who waste 1/5 of what they buy. This amounts to a £810 per year cost to an average family.

(a) Action needs to be taken to reduce waste in our homes. The Resources and Waste Strategy, published in December 2018, outlined our continued support for the Waste and Resources Action Programme’s citizen food waste strategy to reduce food waste in our homes, for example through the Love Food Hate Waste campaign. In addition, the Food Waste Action Week will run between 13 - 19 January 2020. The week will focus on raising awareness of the impacts of food waste as an urgent issue.

b) Following support at consultation, the draft legislation in the Environment Bill ( stipulates that a core set of materials, including food waste, is to be collected for recycling from households by all local authorities in England from 2023. This legislation also stipulates that businesses and other organisations will be required to separate food waste from residual waste for recycling from 2023. Alongside clear communication, this will reduce the quantity of food waste sent to landfill and increase the amount recycled.