According to the Modern Life is Rubbish report published this week by Sainsbury’s, every year British households throw away an astonishing 7 million tonnes of food, 4.2 million tonnes of which could be saved with more careful planning and better portion control.
Key factors influencing waste behaviour
There is a definite need for education surrounding food waste. This is made apparent by stark misconceptions about the financial implications of throwing away useable food.
The findings show that shoppers believe only 10% of their monthly food bill is spent on avoidable waste (£400), when in fact it is costing families £700 a year.
One need only peruse Instagram to realise that we are becoming a nation that ‘lives to eat’ rather than ‘eats to live’. Millennials in particular identify with this, with 55% saying they ‘live to eat’, compared with just 33% of over 35s.
Waste less, Save more
The findings from our survey clearly show that something needs to change.
In order to drive this shift in attitudes and behaviours, Sainsbury’s launched the Waste Less, Save more scheme in 2015; a £10m investment over 5 years to help customers reduce food waste in the home. The project kicked off with a 12-month trial in Swadlincote, South Derbyshire, where a number of initiatives were tested in the hope of helping the town reduce its food waste by 50% in one year.
The trial has already proven extremely successful with initiatives such as fridge thermometers, food waste logging apps, smart fridges and community engagement programmes all triggering changes in peoples’ behaviour.
Key learnings from the Swadlincote trial will be used to shape collaborations with further towns, retailers, business and public bodies across the UK.