Bread tops food waste list, finds study

06 March, 2015

Latest research has found that 25% of adults waste their bread – topping the list for the most thrown-away item.

In a study by Opinium Research, a quarter of people said they wasted bread products, with 22% throwing away salad, and 9% throwing away milk.

Of the 2,000 people surveyed, 42% said they threw away the uneaten groceries because they forgot to use everything in time, but 32% said this was because size and portions of products were too big.

Gordon Polson, director of the Federation of Bakers, said: “Bread is a staple product and we all want to have ‘bread in the house’.

“The greater availability of sizes of loaf, with much more bread available in smaller sizes, such as 400g, and smaller loaves with full-size slices, also helps smaller households and gives larger households the option to purchase a variety of different bread.

“The advantage of sliced and wrapped bread is that the packaging is designed to help keep the bread fresh if the instructions on-pack are followed. There is also guidance on storage and freezing. So I think clear guidance on storage and freezing will help reduce the wastage.”

WRAP is an organisation which promotes the use of sustainable resources.

Emma Marsh, head of Love Food Hate Waste - WRAP’s consumer food waste prevention campaign, said: “Every day in UK homes we throw away the equivalent of approximately 24 million whole slices of bread.

“Bread is one of the most wasted food types in the UK. This is for a number of reasons: it is a staple food that we all have in, we often don’t store it correctly and are unable to use it in time.”

The Opinium study also found that 26% of people think that supermarkets have the greatest responsibility for ensuring the amount of food wasted in the UK is reduced.

Marsh continued: “There has been a significant reduction in the proportion of standard bread purchases subsequently becoming waste between 2007 and 2012. This is likely to have been, in part, as a result of work by the bakery sector to: introduce smaller loaves (for example, the Kingsmill Little Big Loaf that has large-sized slices, but fewer of them); improve storage guidance (with guidance to refrigerate removed from all packs); improve freezing guidance (with some packs stating to ‘freeze as soon as possible after purchase’ rather than only ‘on the day of purchase’); and remove ‘display until’ dates making the ‘best before’ date less ambiguous and more prominent.”





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