Food Waste Facts, Figures & Statistics 2020

food waste facts

Looking for a list of the most useful & up-to-date food waste facts, figures & statistics?  Well you are in the right place!

Instead of providing old or irrelevant data for reference and sharing in your articles, we regularly update our research with the latest research & data. 

You will find all of the most important food waste facts in 2020 right here.

Household Food Waste Facts

1. One third of all food produced worldwide, 1.3 billion tonnes per year, is wasted. (Insinkerator)

2. It is estimated that 88 million tonnes of food is wasted by EU countries each year. The value of this wasted food equates to £143 billion each year. (Insinkerator)

3. By weight, UK household food waste makes up 70% of the total food waste in the UK excluding food waste arising in primary production. (Wrap – 2020 Study)

4. Every year, UK households are responsible for 6.6 Million Tonnes of food waste (Wrap – 2020 Study)

5. Every year in the UK, we throw away 18% of the food we buy. (Love Food Hate Waste)

6. Of the 6.6 million tonnes of food the UK throws away, 70% of the food could have actually been eaten. This equates to 4.5 millions tonnes of edible food thrown away each year. (Wrap – 2020 Study)

7. About one-fifth of all food brought into UK homes ends us as waste and is thrown away. (Wrap – Retail Survey 2019)

8. On average a UK family will throw away about £810 of food per year. (Wrap – Retail Survey 2019)

9. Around 1.2 Million tonnes of food is thrown away in the UK as a result of “Cooking too much” or “Too much being served”. (Wrap – Retail Survey 2019)

10. The most popular reason for food being thrown away in the UK is due to not being used in time. Around 1.9 million tonnes of food is thrown away for this reason. The value of this food waste equates to £5.7 billion. (Wrap – 2020 Study)

11. 1.8 Millions tonnes of food is thrown away in the UK due to other reasons like Fussy eating, accidents, personal preference and more. (Wrap – Retail Survey 2019)

12. The amount of carbon associated with the food thrown away by UK households is equivalent to that generated by one in five cars on the roads in the UK. (Wrap – 2020 Study)

14. On average, a UK household will waste the equivalent of eight meals a week(Wrap – 2020 Study)

15. To produce the amount of food currently wasted in the UK, an area of the size of Wales would be required. (Wrap – 2020 Study)

16. The amount of household food wasted on a person by person basis in the UK each year equates to around 69kg and is valued around £210. (Wrap – 2020 Study)

17. The amount of household food wasted on a person by person basis in the UK each month equates to around 5.8kg and is valued around £18. (Wrap – 2020 Study)

18. The average UK family of four can save up to £60 per month by reducing their food waste. (Love Food Hate Waste)

19. Proportions of food & drink waste by food group (Wrap – 2020 Study):

FOOD WASTE BY FOOD GROUP

20. Over the past four years, the number of UK residents who see food waste as an issue has risen from 26% to 69%.  (Wrap – Food Waste Trends Survey)

21. 39% of UK residents make a strong link between food wastage and climate change. (Wrap – Food Waste Trends Survey)

22. The value of perfectly edible food thrown away every year in the UK equates to £19 billion. (Wrap – Food Waste Trends Survey) 

Food Industry Waste Facts

1. Every year, the food industry is responsible for  throwing away 2.9 million tonnes of food. (Wrap – Courtauld report)

2. The hospitality & food service (HaFS) industry, food manufactures, retail and wholesale sectors are responsible for 30% of the UK’s food waste. That equates to 2.9 millions tonnes of food. (Wrap – Courtauld report)

3. The value of the food wasted by the food industry alone is over £5 billion. (Wrap – Courtauld report)

4. The retail food industry is responsible for  generating around 277,000 tonnes of foods waste each year. (Wrap – Courtauld report)

5. The value of the food wasted by the retail food industry equates to over £870 million each year. (Wrap – Courtauld report)

6. Since 2015, the amount of food waste produced by the retail food industry has actually increased by 6%(Wrap – Courtauld report)

7. The food manufacturing industry is responsible for  generating around 1.5 million tonnes of foods waste every year. (Wrap – Courtauld report)

8. Changes in retail food waste since 2009 (Wrap – Courtauld report):

Changes in retail food waste over time

9. The total cost of food waste in restaurants in the United Kingdom between 2006 & 2016 (Statista): 

Total cost of food waste in uk restaurants

10. 1 in 6 meals are wasted in the hospitality and catering industry. (Which)

11. Breakdown of food wastage by sector (Which): 

breakdown of food waste by sector

12. Between 20 – 40% of produce that is intended for Supermarkets is thrown away before reaching the shelves due to not meeting cosmetic standards (Insinkerator)

13. According to the Food Loss & Waste Sustainability index rankings, France ranks the best in Europe, followed by Luxembourg (Food Sustainability):

EU COUNTRIES RANKED BY FOOD LOSS WASTE

Food Waste Reduction Statistics

1. Compared to 2007, the amount of food wasted by UK households in 2018 was 1.4 millions tonnes lower. This equates to about an 18% reduction in total household food waste in just 11 years.  (Wrap)

2. If we exclude the inedible parts, the UK has saved the equivalent of £4.8 billion worth of food from being wasted between the years 2007 & 2018. (Wrap)

3. The amount of food wasted by the food industry has decreased by 2.4% between 2015 & 2018 and is actually nearly 8% lower than 2007. (Wrap – Courtauld report)

4. Since implementing Target, Measure, Act, 45 businesses are reporting a 17% reduction in food waste. This equates to a saving of over £300 million (180,000 tonnes). (Food Waste Reduction 2020)

5. Through a range of actions, Iceland has been able to reduce their total food waste by 23% when compared to data from 2017(Food Waste Reduction 2020)

Specific Types of Food Wastage

1. Chicken is the most popular meat in the United Kingdom, however, we still end up throwing away 120 million of them each year. (Wrap – 2020 Study)

2. Fresh Vegetables & salad is the most common type of food waste in the UK. Veg & salad makes up 28% of the total food wastage in the UK. (Wrap – 2020 Study)

3. The next most popular food types that we waste in the UK are drinks (15%), baked items (11%) & ready meals (9%)(Wrap – 2020 Study)

4. The top 10 most wasted food & drinks items by UK households that otherwise could have been eaten are:

    1. Potato (fresh)
    2. Bread
    3. Milk
    4. Meals (home-made and pre-prepared)
    5. Fizzy drinks
    6. Fruit juice and smoothies
    7. Pork / ham / bacon
    8. Poultry (chicken, turkey, duck)
    9. Carrots (fresh)
    10. Potato (processed)(Wrap – 2020 Study)

5. Everyday in the UK, we throw away approximately 20 million whole slices of bread. (Wrap – 2020 Study)

6. Most common foods that are wasted every day in the UK (Which):

common foods that are wasted every day in the UK

Food Waste Redistribution Facts

1. In 2018, a total of 133 million meals were redistributed in the UK. (Wrap)

2. The total value of the food redistributed in 2018 was £166 million in the UK.  (Wrap)

3. Between 2015 & 2018, the amount of food surplus that was redistributed from retail to charities increased by over 14,000 tonnes. (Wrap – Courtauld report)

4. The total amount of food redistributed from retail to charitable organises amounted to almost 25,000 tonnes in 2018. (Wrap – Courtauld report)

5. The total amount of food redistributed from food manufactures to charitable organises amounted to almost 26,000 tonnes in 2018. (Wrap – Courtauld report)

6. In the UK, by recycling 13m tonnes of food we create enough energy to power 200,000 homes each year. This is worth more than £220m to the UK economy. (Which)

Lockdown Food Waste Facts

1. Since lockdown, UK households have wasted 1/3 less food than they normally would. (Love Food Hate Waste)

2. In April 2020, the average level of food waste for UK residents was 13.7%. This equates to a 10.4% reduction when compared to Novembers 2019’s food waste percentage. (COVID-19 Food Waste Study)

3. As of July 2020, the percentage of food waste from UK residents has rebounded up to 17.9% from 13.7% in April 2020. (COVID-19 Food Waste Study)

4. Just over one in four citizens in the UK classify as having higher levels of food waste since lockdown began. (COVID-19 Food Waste Study)

5. 70% of UK citizens want to maintain their new lower levels of food wastage after lockdown ends. (COVID-19 Food Waste Study)

6. Since lockdown ended, there has been a 31% increase in the amount of food wasted. However, this is still below the pre-lockdown levels. (COVID-19 Food Waste Study)

7. 44% of UK residents said they are preparing more meals at home since lockdown began. (COVID-19 Food Waste Study)

8. 41% of UK residents said that since lockdown, they are now checking what ingredients they already have in the cupboard before going shopping. (COVID-19 Food Waste Study)

9. 41% of UK residents said that since lockdown, they are now checking what ingredients they already have in the fridge before going shopping. (COVID-19 Food Waste Study)

10. 38% of UK residents said that since lockdown, they are now checking what ingredients they already have in the freezer before going shopping. (COVID-19 Food Waste Study)

11. Younger groups aged between 18-24, 25-34 & 35-44 adopted more food management behaviour during lockdown compared to those ages 65+. (COVID-19 Food Waste Study)

12. The percentage of foods thrown away uneaten during lockdown in the United Kingdom. (COVID-19 Food Waste Study):

% OF FOODS THROWN AWAY DURING LOCKDOWN

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