Bin filled with food waste

Stop food waste

Asda’s committed to cutting down on food waste – find out how you and your kids can help too

By Shannon Wilson, 07 January 2016
Stop food waste

We’re all guilty of throwing away the odd bit of food here and there, but did you know that as a country we throw away a whopping 7 million tonnes of food and drink each year, the majority of which could have been eaten? That’s the equivalent of filling five football stadiums to the brim! In money terms, while UK households as a whole waste a staggering £12.5 billion worth of food and drink each year, you and your family could be throwing away up to £700 a year and roughly £60 a month – yikes!

As a country we throw away a whopping 7 million tonnes of food and drink each year - that’s the equivalent of five football stadiums!

Love food, hate waste

At Asda, doing business the right way is hugely important to us. We don’t believe in wasting things, especially great-tasting food. We want to focus on putting tasty food on your family’s plate, and not in the bin.

Did you know that every day in the UK, we throw away the equivalent of:

  • 1.4 million whole untouched bananas
  • 1.2 million unopened yogurts
  • 1.1 million eggs
  • 1.5 million sausages
  • 24 million slices of bread

These figures make it clear that we need to do something about all this waste, not just for our wallets, but also to reduce the negative impact on the environment - if we could stop throwing away all this food, the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions would be equivalent to taking 1-in-4 cars off UK roads!

Cutting down on food waste is vital to our planet’s future, and therefore our own, and it’s up to us to help our children understand how important it is to cut down on food waste. Feeling overwhelmed? Don't worry, there are lots of different ways that we can reduce the amount of food that we waste at home.

Some simple tips for reducing food waste in your home:

  • Writing a list before going shopping (check the cupboards and fridge first so you don’t double up)
  • Planning meals in advance
  • Not cooking or asking for more food than you can eat (this is called portioning)
  • Packing and storing in appropriate containers that stop the food from spoiling
  • Storing and eating leftovers
  • Freezing certain foods so they can be eaten at a later date
  • Reading the labels before eating or storing food

To find out more information about food waste, hop on over to the Love Food Hate Waste website.

Teaching children about food waste

Educating children about the importance of not wasting food starts at home. Teaching children to be aware of how much food is wasted at home and in school is a good place to start. For instance, did you know a staggering 49% of food waste thrown out by primary school children is fruit and vegetables?

Storage Sheriff

Show children where food belongs in the kitchen as well encouraging them to read and be aware of food labels. This will inspire them to take action in their home and to start to understand when food needs to be eaten by, how to store and label leftovers, and when to freeze food.

Healthy portions

It’s important to educate children on just what a proper portion is and beyond that, what a good balanced diet looks like with fresh vegetables, fruit, lean proteins, carbohydrates and some fats too. The more children know and understand about healthy, nutritious food the better it is for their long-term future and learning what a varied diet is and knowing when they are full are key to healthy living.

Active teaching

The Asda Community Life team has put together some great activities and lesson plans to help teachers and parents educate children on how to cut down on food waste at home, and these can be accessed in our kids' cooking resource hub.

What else is Asda doing to cut food waste?

In Asda stores, we’re working hard to reduce food waste and try to avoid creating it in the first place. For starters, none of our stores send food to landfill. We always try to reduce the amount of food waste from our stores as much as we can and donate any surplus stock to charity. If unused and excess food does arise, we send the food to special processing facilities to be made into pet food or converted into energy at an anaerobic digestion plant.

We’re also part of WRAP’s Courtauld Commitment 3, which means we're committed to helping our suppliers and customers to cut down on waste and save some pennies in the process. Working in partnership with our suppliers and the charity FareShare, we have developed an innovative and sector-leading scheme to reduce food waste within our supply chain, while at the same time increasing food donations to charities across the UK. It’s all based around surplus stock at distribution centres and the choice between returning stock to suppliers or redistributing it to charity. You can learn more about it all here.