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Food waste facts


The World:

  • There is enough food produced in the world to feed everyone[1]

  • One third of all food produced is lost or wasted–around 1.3 billion tonnes of food–costing the global economy close to $940 billion each year[2]

  • One in nine people do not have enough food to eat, that’s 815 million people who are undernourished[3]

  • If one quarter of the food currently lost or wasted could be saved, it would be enough to feed 870 million hungry people[4]

  • Almost half of all fruit and vegetables produced are wasted[5]

  • 8% of greenhouse gases heating the planet are caused by food waste[6]

  • If food waste was a country, it would be the third biggest emitter of greenhouse gases after USA and China[7]

  • Eliminating global food waste would save 4.4 million tonnes of C02 a year, the equivalent of taking one in four cars off the road[8]

The UK:

  • An estimated 20 to 40% of UK fruit and vegetables rejected even before they reach the shops – mostly because they do not match the supermarkets’ excessively strict cosmetic standards[9]

  • The average UK family is wasting nearly £60 a month by throwing away almost an entire meal a day[10]

  • The overall cost to the UK of food waste each year is £17 billion, of which £12.5 billion is the cost to households[11]

  • Annual food waste arising within UK households, hospitality and food service, food manufacture, retail and wholesale sectors at around 10 million tonnes, 60% of which could have been avoided[12]

  • WRAP estimates that 8.3 million tones of food waste comes from consumers, 1.6 million tones from retailers, 4.1 million tones from food manufacturers, 3 million tones from restaurants, and 3 million tones from other groups[13]

  • An estimated 8.4 million people, the equivalent of entire population of London, were living in households reporting having insufficient food in the UK in 2014[14]

  • 6% of people aged 15 or over in the UK reported struggling to get enough food to eat and a further 4.5% reported that, at least once, they went a full day without anything to eat[15]

[1] 2016 World Hunger and Poverty Facts and Statistics  

[2] FAO Save Food Global Food Waste and Loss Initiative

[3] FAO The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2015

[4] FAO The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2015


[6] FAO Food Wastage Footprint Report 2013

[7] FAO Food Wastage Footprint Report 2013


[9] Stuart, Tristram “Food Waste Facts”,

[10] Food waste: what does the latest report tell us? (2013)


[12] Waste Arisings in the UK

[13] Food 2030, DEFRA, London,  (2010)

[14] Too Poor To Eat:

[15] Too Poor To Eat: