We’ve rounded up some food waste facts and statistics to put into perspective the scale of the problem and show how recycling food waste can really make a difference.
How much food is wasted?
As well as costing the planet, the price of wasting food can hit your pockets too!
- Avoidable food and drink waste costs Scottish households £1.1billion in unnecessary purchases each year.
- Scottish households throw away 630,000 tonnes of food waste to landfill every year.
- By reducing food waste, each Scottish household could save up to £470 per year.
Which foods are wasted the most?
In Scotland, the top 5 commonly wasted food and drink types each year by weight are:
- Milk (31,000 tonnes)
- Bread (25,000 tonnes)
- Carbonated drinks (23,000 tonnes)
- Potatoes (19,000 tonnes)
- Ready meals (14,000 tonnes)
- Fresh fruit – We throw away £70 million-worth of fresh fruit every year. That’s equivalent to one apple per day for every schoolchild and teacher in Scotland for 18 months.
- Fresh vegetables – We waste 62,000 tonnes of vegetables every year. That’s an average of 26kg a year for every household in Scotland - the equivalent of a whole weekly shop.
- Drinks – Scottish households throw away an estimated 70 million litres of drinks every year. That would fill 175,000 bathtubs, right to the brim!
- Meat and fish – Scotland’s households throw away £130 million-worth of meat and fish waste every year. That’s enough to make every person in Scotland a bacon butty every Saturday for the next year!
- Baked goods – Every day in Scotland we throw away the equivalent of 2.6 million slices of bread. These could easily be frozen instead!
- Dairy – Every year, Scotland’s households throw away £93 million-worth of dairy waste. That's enough for everyone in Scotland to have milk on their cereal for the next six months.
Recycling food waste facts...
In Scotland, we use a process called anaerobic digestion to transform food waste into green energy. Here’s what your recycled food waste could do...
- Your weekly food waste can power nearly two whole cycles of your washing machine.
- A caddy full of food waste could generate enough electricity to power a fridge for 18 hours.*
- Your weekly food waste could power your TV enough to watch more than 35 episodes of Game of Thrones!
- 5 caddies full of food waste could power a cinema screen long enough to watch the latest blockbuster.*
- Your weekly food waste caddy can power an average house for 2 hours.
- Just 1 banana peel generates enough energy to charge your phone twice!
*Source – Recycle for Wales