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Wasting away

Following last week’s look at the food waste generated from pumpkins during Halloween festivities, this week I have been diving deeper into the wider problem of fruit and veg waste.

According to new research commissioned by UK food technology company It’s Fresh!, 75 per cent of the UK throw away fresh produce every week – rising to 92 per cent of 18-24 year olds.

The majority (83 per cent) of respondents said the reason they throw fruit and veg away is due to it not being eaten in time before it goes off. However, more than half (51 per cent) feel guilty when wasting produce and 44 per cent claim the act of throwing away fruit or veg makes them feel frustrated.

The study also reveals the parts of the UK that are more wasteful than others, with London coming out as the most wasteful region in the UK, with 28 per cent of residents throwing away more than 10 per cent of the fruit and veg they buy each week.

This is closely followed by the North East, Yorkshire & Humberside and the West Midlands, where almost a quarter (24 per cent) of residents throw away more than 10 per cent of their fresh produce purchases.

At the other end of the spectrum is Wales, where 59 per cent of people throw away less than 10 per cent of the fruit and veg bought each week.

The research shows almost half of those questioned are given no provision to dispose of fresh produce, meaning they throw it away with general waste. But in keeping with the above figures, in Wales (the region that wastes the least food), 94 per cent of respondents state that the council provides a caddy/food waste bin, and by contrast, in the North East (one of the most wasteful areas when it comes to throwing away fresh produce), only 13 per cent have food waste provision.

With awareness about food waste on the rise, and campaigns such as last week’s #PumpkinRescue garnering more attention, the potential exists to greatly reduce the levels of food waste seen in the UK – and it’s hard to ignore the figures being seen when it comes to food waste bins.

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