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What is food waste?

Most food waste is avoidable

For households, avoidable food waste is edible food that is thrown in the bin, fed to pets or composted. We don't intend to, but we often waste good food because we buy too much, cook too much, or don't store food correctly.

For businesses, avoidable food waste includes damaged stock and produce that isn't used before the 'sell-by', 'use-by' or 'best-before' date. Avoidable food waste also occurs due to inefficiencies in the food supply chain, poor handling and preparation, or incorrect serving sizes.


Some food waste is unavoidable

Unavoidable food waste is food that cannot generally be sold or eaten. Examples include bones, fat and skin, mussel or shellfish shells, tea bags and coffee grounds, egg shells, fruit and vegetable peel, pips and stones.

Composting and worm farming – at home or at work are two easy ways to prevent this food waste going to landfill. A compost bin or worm farm can help you reduce your environmental impact and provide your garden with free fertiliser.


How can we avoid food waste?

Many food businesses – supermarkets, food retailers, restaurants, cafés, clubs, pubs, caterers and others – are actively reducing their food waste and spreading the word to their customers and communities.

We can make simple changes at home and at work that can save time, save money and cut food waste.


Why does food waste matter?

Wasting food is a waste of the resources used in its production, such as water and energy. Food waste is a serious environmental and social problem that we can easily avoid.


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