A new campaign by Love Food Hate Waste is encouraging people in Derby and Derbyshire to buy what they need to reduce the 7.1 million tonnes of food wasted every year in UK homes.
It comes as figures reveal that one in four people admit they are poor at judging the right amount of food to buy.
In the UK, around 20% of the food we buy ends up in the bin, according to research by Love Food Hate Waste.
A spokesperson explained: “We shop without checking what we’ve already got at home. We cook too much pasta because it’s difficult to know how much to make.
“Our busy lives mean we often leave salads to wilt in their bags, end up chucking out half a loaf of stale bread, and find forgotten punnets of gone-off fruit because we overestimate how much we’ll eat.
“When it comes to food, we’re spoiled rotten.”
In Derby food is estimated to make up a third of what goes into black bins.
That wasted food costs roughly £230 per person per year, and emits the same amount of CO2 as a quarter of all cars on our roads.
Love Food Hate Waste’s campaign, entitled Spoiled Rotten, is calling on people to take individual action and spot their food waste traps.
It includes habits such as over-buying milk “just in case” and buying a bag of apples when the recipe only calls for one or two.
Plan before you scan
Some 30% of people say they don’t check their fridge before they go out to the shops, and nearly half forget to check the freezer.
Furthermore, only 56% of 18–34-year-olds make a shopping list, and research shows that this group wastes more food than most.
If lists aren’t your thing, why not grab your phone and take a photo of the contents of your fridge (a fridge selfie) before you leave the house?
It’s a quick and easy way of remembering what’s in there when you get to the shops. Check the cupboards and freezer before you head out too!
How to be less wasteful
Some top tips to help you only buy what you need and waste less:
- One potato, two potato. ask yourself if you need the whole big bag or if it might be better to pick a few loose ones.
- Smaller packs. Research shows that there is a higher rate of food waste per person in single-person households, so if you’re buying for one try a smaller pack.
- Get freezer friendly. If your fresh fruit is going off before you can eat it all, try buying frozen instead. It lasts longer and can be whizzed up into a delicious smoothie.
- Takeout tips. If you’ve been tempted by a takeaway, check what’s in your fridge before you order – you might have something to pop in the freezer to keep it from going off.
- Sign up to Derby City Council’s Garden and Food waste recycling scheme. This free scheme means you can send garden and food waste to be recycled into compost!
Jenny Carr from Love Food Hate Waste said: “We enjoy an abundance of food everywhere we go, from farmers’ markets and supermarkets to restaurants and cafes. It’s never been easier to enjoy food.
“The problem is, that means it’s also never been easier to waste it. UK households produce 70% of the country’s overall food waste – 7.1 million tonnes – which is equal to 3.5 meals per person every week!”
She added: “It’s easy to be tempted – we’re only human after all! However, if it’s going to end up in the bin, don’t buy it.
“By buying what you need, you can save your food from the bin – helping your pocket and our planet.”
Derby City Council’s Cllr Johnathan Smale, added: “We want to see more people in Derby taking action – whether they take a shelfie before they shop, buying smaller portions to avoid waste or signing up for our garden and food waste recycling scheme.”