A new study by Sainsbury’s has found that only 3 per cent of UK households think that there is a stigma attached to wasting food – despite many actively making attempts to save energy.
According to the poll, which involved more than 5,000 UK adults, 74 per cent of households actively switch off lights after leaving a room and 55 per cent turn down the heating.
Nearly one third of those interviewed claimed to have a clean energy supplier to keep household bills down.
Each year the UK throws away seven million tonnes of food, despite 4.2 million tonnes being avoidable waste.
The study found that people are generally unaware of the potential savings that could be made if they would only make simple behavioural changes.
On average families waste £700 a year on food that is thrown away, despite most believing the figure to be lower.
Simple planning, such as the writing of shopping lists, can save families up to £145 a year.
Furthermore, while three quarters of people surveyed stated that they felt confident that they could cook meals from leftovers, nearly 37 per cent admitted to not actually using them.
Late last year Sainsbury’s launched a partnership with the town of Swadlincote where it spent £1 million in a food cutting waste campaign while it trialled new technology.
After the success of the trial, the supermarket is planning on spending a further £10 million in the next five years to help develop similar schemes across the UK.
Mike Coupe, Sainsbury’s chief executive said that:
We know our customers are concerned about food waste in their own homes, which is why we’ve committed £10m to help tackle the issue as part of our ‘waste less, save more’ programme.
“Wasting food has become so normal, there is now no stigma attached to throwing food away. The report shows that people are cost-conscious and making concerted efforts to turn off lights and minimise energy use. However, people are still overlooking the much bigger savings that could be delivered by simply throwing away less food.”
The supermarket is set to launch its first Waste Less, Save More advertising campaign this Wednesday.