A new report by Sainsbury’s, studying the food waste patterns of 5,000 people, has identified the four “bin-fluences” contributing to Britain’s food waste cycle.
This report identifies the behaviours that lead to UK households wasting as much as 7m tonnes of food each year, of which more than half is believed to be avoidable food waste.
It says that Brits make a conscious effort to save money with 74% turning off lights, but we’re still in the dark about the real cost of food waste and that despite the increased prominence of food waste as an issue, only 3% feel there’s a stigma attached to binning food. But while food waste has a direct impact on household expenditure, the report finds that people want to change their habits, but fail to see the value of saving food compared to other money-saving habits that have become the norm.
These findings come as Sainsbury’s prepares to hand out one million free fridge thermometers in a bid to help the nation “Waste less, Save more”.
It adds that while a third of Brits (32%) say they have even changed energy suppliers to keep the household bills down, saving around £305 a year, this is still less than half of the £700 spent on wasted food by a typical family each year.
Reflecting on Sainsbury’s biggest ever report into household food waste, Sainsbury’s CEO, Mike Coupe, comments: “We know our customers are concerned about food waste in their own homes, which is why we’ve committed £10 million to help tackle the issue as part of our Waste less, Save more programme. Wasting food has become so normal there is now no stigma attached to throwing food away. This report identifies the four behaviours that drive household food waste and, now we know these, we can focus our efforts on helping people actually change their behaviour.
“The report also shows that people are cost-conscious and making concerted efforts to turn off lights and minimise energy use. However, people are still overlooking the much bigger savings that could be delivered by simply throwing away less food, and hopefully our campaign will help people waste less food and save more money.”
The four “bin-fluences” identified are awareness, behaviour, role models and society, all of which are explained further in the report.
Richard Swannell, Director at WRAP, added: “It’s great that people are switching off lights, I hope these new insights from Sainsbury’s helps switch more people on to the issue of reducing food waste. Wasting food costs £700 a year for the average family, that’s money that could be spent on everyday essentials. Both Sainsbury’s and WRAP, through its Love Food Hate Waste campaign, want to change the current status quo and help people see the benefits in shopping smarter, and making the most of their food”.
And as of today (7 September) Sainsbury’s will also launch its first ever “Waste less, Save more” advertising campaign, designed to help homes across the country save and store food more efficiently with the one million fridge thermometers being given out to ensure family’s fridges are at the right temperate to prolong the life of fresh food.