Household waste levels fall as Brits batch cook and donate to food banks

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HOUSEHOLD food waste levels have plummeted in more than a quarter of UK homes, according to a study.

Researchers who polled 2,000 adults found a rise in batch cooking and donating to food banks has led to 27 per cent of households throwing away less uneaten food.

Freezing unused fruit, vegetables and other food items, buying ingredients which keep for longer, such as cheese, and only buying the food they need are also among the actions contributing to less food waste.

A quarter also claimed they are ‘desperate’ to eliminate food waste as much as possible following recent shortages of some items.

The research was commissioned by Cathedral City, which has launched the first recycling scheme for all flexible film cheese packaging – regardless of the brand.

It revealed that four in 10 adults have been donating leftover items to food banks or giving it away to friends and family to avoid throwing it in the bin.

While eight in 10 now try to only buy food they actually need – opting to shun multi-buy offers and other tempting deals.

And 63 per cent have taken to batch cooking in a bid to reduce the levels of waste in their homes.

But more adults have also been experimenting when cooking at home – with the aim of cutting down on food waste.

In fact, two thirds have tried out new recipes for this very reason.

The most common motivating factor for the reduction in food waste is to save money (41 per cent).

Other reasons include wanting to avoid the supermarket as much as possible (36 per cent) and dining out less (32 per cent).

However, environmental concerns (15 per cent) are also a key factor in the fall in food waste.

Lee Willett from Cathedral City said: “As we ease out of lockdown, it is reassuring that many Brits intend to continue with positive lifestyle habits established during this challenging time.

“Efforts to improve recycling habits and drive collective sustainable change are fantastic to see and we want to encourage and champion this mindset in the long-term.

“We want to lead our industry towards a more sustainable future and this partnership with TerraCycle is the latest step in our ambition to develop packaging which is 100 per cent recyclable kerbside by 2022.”

The study also found 44 per cent of those polled are especially eager to be sustainable in general – although they still have some way to go.

Seven in 10 admitted they have knowingly broken recycling rules – like putting items in the wrong bin.

And this in part could be due to three in 10 never checking the recycling information on food packaging.

Although a quarter said disruption to recycling services has also made it harder for them to be sustainable recently.

Despite this, the Cathedral City study carried out through OnePoll found two thirds feel ashamed at not being better at being green.

While 79 per cent intend to be more vigilant when it comes to recycling in the future.

Lee Willett added: “Cheese lovers can now fully enjoy our products knowing the packaging has a second life – the nation’s favourite should never go to waste, and neither should its packaging.”

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