MPs have launched in inquiry in a bid to reduce the environmental, social and economic impact of England’s ‘staggeringly high’ levels of food waste.
Some eight million tonnes of food is wasted by households, retailers, wholesalers and the hospitality and food sector, according to the environment, food and rural affairs (EFRA) committee.
It is estimated 60% of this could be avoided at an annual value of £16bn a year with household food waste accounting for the lion’s share. Retailers alone see 0.2 million tonnes of food and drink go to waste at a cost to the industry of £0.65bn.
And eliminating food could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by around 17 million tonnes CO2 per year.
The committee will examine economic, environmental and social impact of food waste in England and the most effective measures that can be taken by the hospitality sector, consumers and local government to tackle the issue.
It will also consider the effectiveness of existing voluntary initiatives in England and whether there is a need for legislation.
Chair Neil Parish, said: ‘Despite the progress made reducing food waste along the supply chain, the amount of reusable, recyclable food that we throw away in the UK is still staggeringly high.
‘Of the estimated seven million tonnes we discard from our homes each year, nearly half is edible. Not only does this have an impact on the family purse, but the environmental cost is equally heavy. We will be asking what more can be done to reduce food waste and this needless expense to our households.’
Submissions to the inquiry should be made by September 13.