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WRAP identifies astounding £2.5 billion food waste bill in the UK’s hospitality and food waste service sector


An astounding £2.5 billion food waste bill in the UK’s hospitality and food service sector has been identified by WRAP, the organisation that supports businesses and individuals in developing sustainable products,  reduce waste, and use resources in an efficient way, it is also claimed that the sector wastes  1.3 billion meals every year.

Unless steps are taken to prevent the waste of food, a worrying prediction by WRAP is that this figure could increase beyond £3 billion by 2016. Wrap also highlights the benefit of saving money by reducing food waste as the average annual cost per outlet is an estimated £10,000.

Wrap has published new guidance ‘Overview of waste in the UK Hospitality and Food Service (HaFS) Sector’ in response to these dramatic figures in order to provide businesses with information on how they can reduce their food waste and in the process go on to save money. Within WRAP’s report steps are outlined empowering industries to overcome this problem, by wasting less through increased recycling.

Programme manager for hospitality and food service WRAP, Charlotte Henderson commented:

“Although the headline figures are large, there are significant opportunities across the whole hospitality and food service sector to reduce costs by tackling food waste.”

Overview on waste in the UK Hospitality and Food Service Sector’ includes a breakdown of the type of food being wasted, as well as the cost of this food waste for each subsector. It also details waste produced in each of the nine sub-sectors including hotels, leisure, healthcare, education, staff catering, restaurants, quick service restaurants pubs and services.

Key findings in the report across these nine sub-sectors include the following:

  •  The total annual waste across the sector is 2.87 million tonnes, of which 46% is sent to anaerobic digestion (AD), composted or recycled
  • Regarding this figure food waste accounts for 920,000 tonnes; this is equal to 1.3 billion meals or one in six of the 8 billion meals served annually by the sector.
  • Food waste commonly arises from three main areas, 45% from food preparation 34% from consumer plates and 21% due to spoilage, 75% of all food wasted was avoidable and could have been eaten.
  • £2,800 is the estimated cost of a tonne of food waste.

The Hospitality and Food Service Agreement, is helping industry to prevent food and accompanying packaging waste under two objectives:

  •  Prevention target: to decrease food and  packaging waste arising by 5% by the end of 2015 against a 2012 baseline; measured by CO2e
  • Waste management target: to increase the general rate of food and packaging waste being recycled, sent to anaerobic digestion (AD) or composted to at least 70% by the end of 2015.

WRAP has also launched a new microsite to assist the sector in recycling more and helping the sector to reduce waste. Food waste recycling for your business is free to access and includes practical advice and information collections and food waste recycling.





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