Six-week food waste reduction programme for 52 UK households run by Tesco and Hubbub found families saved money and significantly slashed food waste once they embraced new food habits
UK households could save more than £850 a year if they embrace food habits that slash food waste, such as meal planning and making better use of freezing, a trial managed by Tesco and environmental charity Hubbub has found.
The six-week trial saw 53 households across the UK log their food waste as they tested a series of different initiatives geared at curbing food waste, including cooking classes, batch cooking, and more effective storage of food.
Two thirds of households that participated in the experiment reported a smaller weekly food bill, claiming average savings of £16.50 a week.
"We know that food waste is a stubborn problem for many households so it's really promising to see these results" said Aoife Allen, head of food at Hubbub. "The group embraced meal planning and batch cooking, along with using up leftovers and freezing a wider range of foods."
Ninety per cent of households taking part in the trial said they used all the food they bought each week and Tesco and Hubbub calculated that participants achieved a 76 per cent reduction in food waste was seen between the second and sixth week of the trial.
They predicted that each of the trial households could save more than 76 kilograms of food from being discarded annually if the new habits were maintained for a year.
Participant and mum-of-two Kyeisha Gallagher said the six-week programme had made her "much more conscious about food and potential waste".
"I took the challenge because I was becoming concerned how much food we wasted as a family," she said. "My little ones eat often which can result in a lot of wasted food, so I was keen to learn more around how to make more of the food I buy and do my bit for the environment."
Government waste advisory body Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) estimates that roughly 4.5 million tonnes of food waste is produced by UK households each year, damaging the environment, increasing carbon emissions, and hiking household food bills.
"Building on our commitments to reduce food waste in our operations and supply chain, we want to engage households to do the same, by providing them with inspiration and tips to cut food waste at home," said Tesco campaigns director Kene Umeasiegbu. "The practical ideas from this pilot can lead to long-lasting changes in household habits, helping them to use all the food they buy."
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