Over 50 households to track their food waste in a bid to work out which interventions deliver biggest waste savings
Tesco has teamed up with environmental charity Hubbub to launch a new initiative to explore how the UK can better tackle its 6.6million tonne annual food waste mountain.
The charity announced yesterday that it is to launch a new 'No Time for Waste Challenge' in partnership with the supermarket, which will undertake a six week trial with 55 households from across Britain to explore which interventions to curb food waste deliver the biggest savings.
The project will test the effectiveness of a series of interventions, ranging from help with meal planning to leftover-inspired cooking sessions with professional chefs. Families will then weigh and log their food waste daily to understand to provide accurate data on how behaviours are changing.
The trial aims to build on the shift in purchasing and cooking habits that have taken place since the coronavirus lockdown was imposed.
New polling commissioned by Tesco has revealed that food waste has fallen in recent months, with people using some of their increased time at how to cook from scratch more, plan their weekly shop, and make better use of leftovers
The survey of over 2,000 UK adults found that the Covid-19 lockdown had prompted two thirds of respondents to feel differently about food. Almost a third of respondents said Covid-19 has made them more aware of the value of food while 38 per cent said lockdown, and the difficulties it has brought, has represented the single most important event in their lifetime when it comes to their relationship with food and food waste.
As a result 35 per cent of people reduced their food waste during lockdown and 75 per cent said they had kept up efforts to reduce food waste since lockdown restrictions have eased.
For example, 61 per cent said they are now cooking with leftovers every week, while just under a third are planning their food shops more carefully to buy exactly what is needed or can be safely stored, and 22 per cent are batch cooking and freezing more.
Only three per cent of those who reduced food waste during lockdown said they did not plan to continue these new habits in future.
However, the survey also revealed that a third of people do not feel confident freezing or defrosting leftovers and a quarter waste food due to a lack ideas for using up leftovers or cut-offs.
As such, the 'No Time for Waste Challenge' is aiming to test a range of interventions that can help families cut food waste. Of the 55 participating families, 67 per cent have said they are taking part to be greener, while 39 per cent said they wanted to cut down on their food bills.
Natalie Neighbour, a 40-year-old trial participant, said: "As a busy single mother to two teenage daughters, food waste has always presented a challenge - though my daughters have been pushing me to take more notice as to what we waste for a while. It can be hard to cook the right amount of food, plan for the week ahead and cook for occasionally fussy taste-buds. The trial is helping me cut down my food waste, which is good for my purse and better for the planet."
The results of the trial are set to be used by Tesco and Hubbub to shape further advice, guidance, and encouragement to help households across the UK reduce food waste, which is estimated to cost the average UK family of four £60 a month.
The launch of the new initiative comes in the same week as a separate survey of 2,000 British consumers commissioned by computing accessories brand Targus found that 66 per cent of people are planning on make more eco-conscious choices post-lockdown.
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