Food waste facts; did you know

A third of the world’s food supply turns to food waste

Think about these food waste facts:

We’re chopping down forests to grow more food, and a billion people are still going hungry. In Scotland alone, 380,000 tonnes of food and drink are thrown away– this costs the Scottish public over £1 billion every year in food waste.

Fresh fruit: We throw away £70 million worth of fresh fruit every year. That’s equivalent to an apple a day for every schoolchild and teacher in Scotland for 18 months.

Fresh vegetables: We waste 62,000 tonnes of vegetables every year.  That’s an average of 26kg a year for every household in Scotland - the equivalent of a whole weekly shop.

Fresh fruit: We throw away £70 million-worth of fresh fruit every year. That’s equivalent to an apple a day for every school child and teacher in Scotland for 18 months.

An apple a day - woman eating apple

Drink: Scottish households throw away an estimated 70 million litres of drinks every year.  That would fill 175,000 bathtubs, right to the brim.

Meat and fish: Scotland’s households throw away £130 million-worth of meat and fish waste every year. It’s enough to make every person in Scotland a bacon butty every Saturday for the next year!

Bakery: Every day in Scotland we throw away the equivalent of 2.6 million slices of bread.

Dairy: Every year, Scotland’s households throw away £93 million-worth of dairy waste. That's enough for everyone in Scotland to have milk on their cereal for the next six months.


What can we do?

Before you shop Look in your kitchen cupboards, fridge and freezer before each shopping trip. You can reduce waste by knowing what you already have to use up.

Make your shopping list take it to the shops and stick to it. A list will help you to avoid impulse buying or stocking up on more food than you’ll use.


Food waste

Fridge and freezer: checks See what’s in your fridge and freezer that needs to be used up before you head to the shops. Label and date the homemade food and leftovers you freeze to enjoy it at its best.

Look in your cupboards:  Find out what’s hiding in your cupboards before you shop so you don’t duplicate what you already have.

Meal planning: Write a meal plan for the week so you buy only what you need. Looking ahead can help you make the most of leftovers and save you time and money.


Here are 3 reasons as to why you should try and avoid unwanted food waste:

  1. To save money - on average it costs £470 per household with the food wasted each year
  2. To help the environment - The food thrown away rots in landfill and creates harmful greenhouse gases
  3. Save the water, time and energy that went into farming the food (thats actually 3 reasons in itself!)


if you would like to find out more about food waste and how to manage yours visit

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