LONDON: A mobile application studying food waste in the United Kingdom has found out that around one million perfectly edible, freshly prepared meals end up in bins each day in cafes and restaurants in the country despite evidences suggesting tens of thousands of citizens rely on food banks to find something to eat.
In a report, The Guardian published figures obtained from Too Good To Go, an app focused on food waste, showing that a total of 900,000 meals are thrown away by British food establishments each day because they haven’t been sold in time.
The findings indicated that around 320 million meals go to bins in the UK annually only in those establishments, a fact that has been mostly overlooked as most campaigns against food waste are focused on homes and supermarkets.
British government’s food waste advisory body Wrap estimates that the huge waste costs businesses over £2.5 million every week.
Hayley Conick, UK managing director at Too Good To Go, said the app sought to enable users to “rescue” surplus meals at a discounted price while trying to convince businesses and consumers to join forces to help cut the waste.
“Yet, whether it’s in restaurants, food shops or our own homes, we don’t think twice about throwing away perfectly good food,” said Conick, adding, “No one leaves the lights on when they leave the house.”
The Wrap says that around £15 billion worth of edible food ends up in bins in homes each year, adding that lack of awareness about how people should set the temperature in their refrigerators was a main cause.
Britons pour down around 290 million liters of milk down the sink every day, according to current studies, while waste of bread and potato is believed to be much higher.
The shocking figures about food waste come amid reports that more British citizens have to register at food banks as they cannot afford proper meals.
Reports in August showed that the use of food banks in the UK had increased for around 13 percent in the one-year period leading to that time. Authorities in one single charity in charge of 400 food banks said a record number of 1.3 million food parcels had been delivered to more than 650,000 needy people across the UK in that period.