Household food and drink waste in the UK 2012

New WRAP research reveals a substantial reduction in the amount of household food and drink waste arising between 2007 and 2012. However, the research also highlights the scale of the opportunity remaining.

The results show that avoidable household food waste has been cut by an impressive 21% since 2007, saving UK consumers almost £13 billion over the five years to 2012. 

However, despite this significant drive to reduce food waste, UK households are still throwing away 4.2 million tonnes of avoidable household food and drink annually; the equivalent of six meals every week for the average UK household.

Updated Household Food Waste Figures

More recent headline data on food waste for this sector was published by WRAP in May 2018, which can be found here

Explore the research

The main report and executive summary contain estimates of the quantity and types of food and drink waste generated by UK households in 2012, and compares these to 2007 estimates. It includes details of the types of food and drink wasted, why it is thrown away, and where the material goes. 

To support the report the following documents are also available:

  • Infographic: illustrating the key data from the report
  • Synthesis of Food Waste Compositional Data 2012: a report providing estimates of household food and drink waste collected by local authorities. The research synthesises information from waste audits undertaken by local authorities and waste statistics from the waste data repository WasteDataFlow.
  • Methods Annex Report: detailed descriptions of the research methods and analyses that were performed to obtain these estimates. This annex also includes statements by the peer reviewers of this research.