Toolkit: reducing food waste at home

Last updated: 30 January 2023

Why food waste matters


Cost of living challenges have caused many households to explore different ways to save money.

Wasting food comes at a cost to:

  • residents, who are buying food that's not eaten
  • the council, who dispose of the food in refuse or recycle facilities


Food production takes resources including:

  • land use
  • water
  • harvest
  • packaging
  • transport

4.5 million tonnes of food that's still good to eat is thrown away every year in the UK.

Carbon footprint

The resources used to produce food all have a carbon footprint associated with them.

When food breaks down at landfill sites it releases harmful greenhouse gases like methane into the atmosphere.  Approximately 8 to 10% of the world's greenhouse gas emissions relate to food waste.