Consumers wasted a whopping £13bn of edible food in 2015

 
Courtney Goldsmith
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We're wasting a lot of edible food
We're wasting tonnes of edible food (Source: Getty)

Consumers threw out £13bn – 7.3m tonnes – worth of perfectly edible food in 2015.

That generated 19m tonnes of carbon emissions, equivalent to those generated by one in four cars on UK roads, according to food waste reduction charity Wrap.

However, 60 per cent of us believe we waste either no food or hardly any.

Wrap has built off its work with food industry manufacturers and retailers who have already cut £100m worth of waste (219,000 tonnes) to create a Hospitality and Foodservice Agreement, which has helped the industry reduce food waste by a further £67m between 2012 and 2015.

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Now, the charity is working to add consumer waste to its focus.

Through its campaign Love Food Hate Waste, practical solutions will be piloted and evaluated by shops to help consumers reduce their waste.

Spokespeople from the Co-op, Tesco and Marks & Spencer said they had made improvements to their stores using the charity's methods.

"At the Co-op we have made significant advances in this area, including a number of packaging innovations to extend the shelf life of food and on-pack advice on how to make food last longer, and we would support any initiative that aims to cut down on the amount of food waste," said Iain Ferguson, environment manager for the Co-op.

"At Tesco, we are helping customers reduce food waste through improved packaging, stopping buy one get one free promotions on fruit and vegetables and putting Love Food Hate Waste tips on our Perfectly Imperfect range," Mark Little, head of food sustainability, sourcing and waste policy at Tesco, said.

Read more: Tesco finally stops throwing away unsold food

Ideas include informing consumers which products are the most wasted and providing tips on how to prevent it, sending personalised messages through online shopping or apps, providing industry guidelines for storage advice and teaching staff food waste prevention behaviours so they can share them with customers in stores.

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