Over 86,000 perfectly edible, freshly prepared meals will end up in London bins this World Food Day, simply because they haven’t been sold. Over 31 million perfectly edible, unsold meals are thrown away by London food establishments every year – enough to feed the capital 3.5 times over. In total, nearly 900,000 edible meals are thrown away by UK restaurants each day.
The figures, which have been compiled by food waste app Too Good To Go, are released just days after Michael Gove announced a £15m fund to combat food waste in the UK. While this funding will focus on reducing food waste from manufacturers, Too Good To Go is tackling the issue of perfectly edible, freshly prepared food that restaurants, hotels and retailers are forced to throw away at the end of trading. The free app links hungry customers to restaurants with unsold food, which they can rescue at a reduced price. To date, Too Good To Go has rescued over seven million meals from food retailers including YO! Sushi, AccorHotels and PAUL.
As well as the cost to the environment, figures from Wrap state that food waste costs UK businesses over £2.5 million every week. Too Good to Go is calling on more food businesses and consumers to join the food waste movement and rescue unsold meals.
Hayley Conick, UK MD at Too Good To Go, said “No one leaves the lights on when they leave the house. Yet whether it’s in restaurants, food shops or our own homes we don’t think twice about throwing away perfectly good food. 1.6bn tonnes of food is thrown away globally each year – and that’s 1.6bn tonnes too many. By creating a new market for surplus food we make sure that more food gets eaten leaving businesses, consumers and the planet as winners in the process.”