New advice has been unveiled to assist the food industry to reduce the amount of food and drink discarded before it is opened. This coincides with the recent launch of the Love  Food Hate Waste 10 Cities campaign, which works with Local Authorities and major retailers to  encourage a reduction in waste.

Around two million tonnes of household food was thrown away last year because it was not used in time, with half of this discarded whole or in unopened  packaging.

The report by WRAP provides extensive details about household food and drink waste including  detailed reasons about why it is thrown away, the size of individual instances of waste and the  proportion of food left in packaging. It also provides details of which meals are linked to the  most waste and the percentage of purchases that are wasted.

The main recommendations in the report include:

  • Ensuring packaging design and storage guidance help consumers keep food fresher for longer
  • Maximising the length of shelf life and using a “best before” date on perishable foods where  possible
  • Accelerating the roll out and increasing public awareness of the “freeze before date mark” label,  which replaces “freeze on day of purchase”

With this issue proving highly topical, it is likely that further campaigns and initiatives will follow, to supplement the changes to food labelling which  are already in progress- see our previous article on this issue at http://tinyurl.com/ mo88tsj.  Businesses should bear in mind that unnecessary waste can create unnecessary commercial costs. With  the focus not only on consumers but also food organisations and retailers, businesses should take a  look at their own waste practices to see how they can make a difference.