DESPITE their latest figures for surplus food redistribution in the UK showing a sustained rise, climate action NGO WRAP warns that nearly 200,000 tonnes of the UK’s food still go to waste each year.
In July, WRAP released its Surplus Food Redistribution in the UK 2015 to 2021 report which showed that the amount of surplus redistributed in 2021 was over 106,000 tonnes, worth over £330 million.
It also shows that, since UK-level data was first reported in 2015, overall levels of redistribution have increased over three-fold.
“It’s devastating to see how much food continues to be wasted from supply chains when so many people are struggling to afford the basics, and food redistributors say they can take more,” said Catherine David, Director Collaboration and Change at WRAP.
“Whilst we welcome the increased amount of food being redistributed in the UK, we know there is a huge amount of good food – 200,000 tonnes of it every year – that could be feeding people. Wasting food also feeds climate change, as all the resources taken to produce the food are thrown in the bin with it.
“We urge all food businesses and their suppliers to adopt our guidance on redistribution as a priority and help more food get to the people who need it. The surplus food is there, and there is so much more that could be saved at this difficult time for UK families.”
Redistribution has more than tripled since WRAP first reported figures in 2015. An estimated 426,000 tonnes of surplus food worth more than £1.3 billion has been saved from wastage – the equivalent of more than a billion meals in six years.
Photo caption: A Tesco store displaying discounted food prices to avoid food waste