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UK's Household Food Waste Reaches 'Unacceptable' Level

May 03, 2017 06:03 AM EDT
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In 2016, an inquiry on food waste was launched after it was found out that 7.3m tons of food was wasted in UK households in 2015.
(Photo : Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

A report conducted by the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) Committee has revealed that More than £10 billion worth of food is thrown away in British households every year.

The report has exposed the massive food waste problem of U.K., citing that the the government should establish a national food waste reduction target and supermarkets must do their part to address the issue.

Neil Parish, committee chairman, said, as mentioned by Huffington Post UK, "Food waste has grotesque economic, social and environmental costs. Economically, food waste costs households hundreds of pounds a year and causes increased disposal costs to local authorities, pushing up council tax bills."

"Socially it is a scandal that people are going hungry and using food banks when so much produce is being wasted. And environmentally, it is a disaster, because energy and resources are wasted in production only for the food to end up rotting in landfills where it produces methane -- a potent climate-changing gas."

In 2016, an inquiry on food waste was launched after it was found out that 7.3 million tons of food was wasted in U.K. households in 2015. The probe castigated supermarkets and other food retailers for discriminating against foods that are actually fit for consumption.

As mentioned by The Guardian, the Committee is proposing that shops must be mandated to sell "wonky" vegetables and fruits that are still edible and must remove "best before" labels on their goods. They must also be required to report or disclose publicly how much food are going in their bins.

EFRA's report noted that quarter of apples, up to a fifth of onions and up to about an eighth of potatoes were rejected by supermarkets just because they look "ugly" or "funny."

Another measure that they are proposing is to have programs that would raise awareness on food consumption and food waste; for example, incorporating it in the school curriculum.

To be able to implement these, the Committee manifested that WRAP, a charity which helps people and businesses reduce waste, must have sufficient funding.

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