Pubs guilty of wasting 41p per meal in food waste

By Robert Mann contact

- Last updated on GMT

Be part of the solution: what are pubs doing in the fight to tackle food waste?
Be part of the solution: what are pubs doing in the fight to tackle food waste?
According to research carried out by Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP), food waste represents a cost to the pub sector alone of £357m each year – equivalent to £8,000 for the average pub.

About one third of all food produced in the world goes to waste – a sad fact considering that 800m people go without enough food to eat every day.

Food waste is defined as all inedible and edible parts of food that is created preceding and succeeding food processing, production and consumption.

Estimated annual statistics revealed that UK pubs serve 11% of all meals eaten out each year.

The results reveal a worrying figure that sees pubs produce 19% of the total food waste across the hospitality and foodservice sector.

Save by recycling

It is believed pubs produce a staggering 873,800 tonnes of waste each year, which includes 173,000 tonnes of food waste.

It is also estimated that only 61% of those pubs will recycle their waste.

WRAP research indicates that pubs across the country could save more than £720m a year if they were to recycle food waste such as potato peelings and bones.

A spokesperson from WRAP is urging pubs to look towards working with other local businesses to combine waste and share costs.

“The cost of food thrown away for the average pub is around £8,000 per year – this works out at about 41p per meal in food waste,” they said.

Environmental benefits

“Applying a cost to food waste demonstrates the true value of what is wasted and the potential savings that can be made.

“By taking a few simple steps to waste less and recycle more, pubs can reap financial as well as environmental benefits.”

British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) chief executive Brigid Simmonds said there are “big savings to be made” when it comes to food waste.

“Reducing food waste is vitally important and the BBPA is delighted to support the industry-wide pledge to reduce food waste through WRAP’s Food Waste Reduction Roadmap​,” she added.

“We will continue to support and advise our members on how to act on food waste and work towards the Courtauld Commitment 2025​ targets.”

Related topics: Food trends