The UK's food waste problem

Over 15 million tonnes of food waste is produced in the UK each year. We believe that food that could be eaten, should be eaten. After this, the best place for inedible food waste is recycling, via anaerobic digestion or in-vessel composting.

Over 15 million tonnes of food waste is produced in the UK each year.  Anaerobic digestion helps lower the UK’s carbon emissions, provides cost-effective and environmentally responsible waste management, generates a constant source of renewable energy and produces a natural biofertiliser.

Capturing the biogas through the anaerobic digestion process from one tonne of food waste displaces between 0.5 and 1 tonne from the UK’s carbon emissions.

  • CO₂ emissions from wasted food in the UK are approximately 18m tonnes, or around 25% of the CO₂ emissions from all UK cars.
  • Almost 50% of the total amount of annual UK food waste (over 7m tonnes) comes from domestic sources
  • Valued at £12bn, more than half of this could have been eaten
  • This wastage costs the average UK household with children almost £700 per year

Source: WRAP (Love Food Hate Waste, a not-for-profit campaign developed by Waste & Resources Action Programme)  

In the UK, waste management should follow the waste hierarchy - or "reduce, reuse, recycle".  
Tamar provides a range of food recycling solutions via our network of AD plants and composting sites. There is more information about food and green waste recycling on our education and resources page.

The UK's food waste problem

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