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Study Reveals UK Throws Away $20 Billion in Food a Year

With the biggest meal of the year a mere two weeks away, here's something to keep in mind: reducing food waste. The British government has just released a new report that reveals each year, the country throws away more than $20 billion in consumable food and drink.

According to the Waste and Resources Action Program (WRAP), the UK's food waste is topping 6.6 million tons annually. By tossing less, consumers could prevent food from being directed to landfill sites — an act that would prevent 15 million tons of carbon dioxide-equivalent emissions yearly. (Once it becomes landfill, food produces methane, another potent greenhouse gas.) WRAP aims to reduce waste by 250,000 tons by March 2011.

I can only imagine what the results of a food waste study would be in the United States. Hopefully, this is an initiative that our administration is looking into — although the first step is definitely consumer awareness. How mindful are you of not wasting food?

Image Source: Getty
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Join The Conversation
Allytta Allytta 6 years
i work in London in catering industry and they throw A LOT of things away. Fresh (made just few hour ago) food with starving cater waters standing right there looking at it. They don't get to take it home, homeless don't get to taste it either. There should be some regulations on such mindless waste
Spectra Spectra 6 years
I never waste food. I have a similar system to Lorelei's...I buy only as much produce/food as we'll use before it goes bad and I rotate my "stock" so I'm always using up the oldest stuff first. I really hate to see food that I paid good money for go to waste.
shoneyjoe shoneyjoe 6 years
They also dispose of an additional $40 billion each year by making British food out of it.
eshellmoyer eshellmoyer 6 years
Wait, does consumable mean it's actually still good when people throw it out? Because that's terrible. I am guilty of letting food waste because I forget about it, but I'm working on it. that's a good strategy lorelei.
bluebellknoll bluebellknoll 6 years
Wow, Lorelei - you are way more disiplined than I am. I'm also guilty of having to throw things out. Not very often but I have had to toss out "dead" produce mostly.
snarkypants snarkypants 6 years
i'm guilty of this. it is just so hard living alone and buying certain things for just one person. i try as much as possible to use what i have, but sometimes it's just too hard. :(
x3Lorelei x3Lorelei 6 years
Please, we're too busy calling our President a terrorist and worrying about the ever-impending socialist takeover to worry about something like wasting food or greenhouse gasses. Anyways, I take my receipt and stick it on the fridge, and cross out every food item with the date I used it up. If everything isn't crossed out by the next time I go shopping, or it has mold/expiration date expired, I try to rethink my shopping habits.
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