Reducing Food Waste

Plate of food on a table

In the UK we throw away 6.5 million tonnes of food and drink from our homes every year, of which more than half of it could have been eaten or drunk. Wasting this food costs the average household around £60 a month - that's £720 a year!

Read on for some top tips on reducing food waste - to help your pocket and the planet.

food caddy

We know that some food waste is unavoidable and for those inedible leftovers, you can recycle them in your silver food caddy. The free, weekly service gets collected on the same day as your usual bin day. Food waste is an essential resource which we use to make gas, to power homes, and a fertiliser which is used on farmland to grow more food!  To order your caddy for free and have it delivered to your doorstep visit

Food waste and our planet

The food we buy has a much longer life cycle than the time we spend with it: from farm, to fork, to the bin. Each stage in the journey of our food draws resources from our planet and produces greenhouse gas emissions, therefore contributing to climate change. There’s a lot of effort, time and resources involved in producing our food - the fertilisers, water, animal feed, crop protection, labour, and farming equipment involved in tending, harvesting, transporting and processing our goods.

Ensuring you use up all of the food you buy and letting none of it go to waste is a key way you can reduce your carbon footprint and help tackle climate change and preserve resources.

If we can make sure only the food we are going to eat reaches our homes, and no good food ends up in the bin, we could save the emissions created producing that food from ever needing to be created in the first place. This, in addition to the resources saved, can help on the journey to ecological transformation.


Top tips for reducing food waste

Best before?

Do you know your 'use by' from your 'best before'? Here's a reminder:

  • Use by: must be eaten before this date as it is related to food safety.
  • Best Before: are safe to eat after the date shown, but may no longer be at their best. Many foods are fine to eat after the Best Before date - use your senses to check.
  • Display until/ Sell by: these dates are for shop staff and can be ignored by shoppers.

Lots of items can be frozen rather than simply thrown away if they reach their date - check the label or packaging for instructions.

Get storage sorted

Are you storing your food to get the best out of it? The Love Food Hate Waste A to Z has a wealth of information to help you store and use foods, search for the food you're interested in to view it's profile. Here is some info to whet your appetite though - apples keep better in the fridge, bread shouldn't be stored in the fridge, and, grapes can be frozen to use in place of icecubes!

Getting organised

Whether it's writing a shopping list, planning your meals, or keeping track of dates in the fridge, you might be surprised the difference a little planning and monitoring can make to your food waste. Only buying and cooking what you need, and then making sure you use what you cook and buy, is the simplest recipe to preventing food going to waste.


Top Tips Videos!


Revive your veg!

Freezing leftovers


Speedy Stir Fry

Fruit pancakes

Cinnamon Bread