Scottish households throw away more than 570,000 tonnes of food and drink each year worth over £1bn, a new report has said.
The study by the Waste and Resources Acton Programme (WRAP) found half of the good food thrown out for council collection was whole and uneaten, with one in seven items still in their packaging. At least £18 million worth of the latter was still within its ‘use by’ or ‘best before’ date.
Based on a survey of 1,169 homes across Scotland, the most common items thrown away were milk (31,000 tonnes), sliced bread (25,000 tonnes), fizzy drinks (23,000 tonnes), potatoes (19,000 tonnes) and ready meals or snacks (14,000 tonnes), said the body. In addition, 96,000 tonnes of fresh fruit and vegetables were binned.
Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead said: “I'm sure most people would agree that it's shocking to think that society needlessly wastes £1 billion of food each year in Scotland. As well as the financial strain on households, the equivalent of £8 to £10 a week, food and packaging add considerably to our waste stream.
“Food waste is one of many issues currently being addressed in the Government’s draft Zero Waste Plan, which I would urge people to have their say on. The Plan is about everyone making smarter day-to-day choices that will take us further down the road towards becoming a zero waste society.”