Wasteful Brits bin so many vegetables that it could fill Wembley Stadium’s seats eight times

By Staff

Households across the UK waste £17billion worth of food items every year – as ingredients go off before they can be eaten

Potatoes, carrots, and tomatoes are the most likely fruit and vegetables to end up in the bin before they can be used – due to being left untouched until past their expiry data, research has found.

Nearly three million whole potatoes are thrown away every day in households across the UK – as well as a million whole bananas, and 2.1 million whole carrots.

Apples and oranges are also commonly wasted food items, with Brits binning 33,000, and 360,000 of the fruits, respectively, on a daily basis.

In fact, the amount of fruit and veg chucked in the bin each year, due to going bad, could fill eight million shopping baskets – or Wembley Stadium’s 90,000 seats, eight times over.

The average household of four wastes £1,000 a year by letting food go off – adding up to £17billion worth of ingredients, nationwide.

The data was compiled by WRAP (Waste and Resources Action Programme), a non-governmental organisation working to tackle the cause of climate crisis. It found a big part of the problem is multipacks which cannot be used in time.

Nearly half (44%) named the lack of availability of single items as a problem – with six in 10 saying they would buy more fruit and veg if it was sold loose. And 74% think supermarkets should be doing more to sell fruit and veg without packaging.

The report was published as part of the fourth annual Food Waste Action Week, following a survey of 5,151 adults who are responsible for food shopping or preparation of food in the home.

Gino D’Acampo, who is working with the organisation to encourage people to embrace the mantra “Choose what you’ll use”, and only buy what’s right for them, said: “Finding out just how much food ends up in the bin really shocked me.

“As a passionate chef, there’s nothing I love more than choosing the best produce for those I’m cooking for. Being able to pick out just what I need for each dish I make – it can’t be beaten. Saving food, saving money, and getting the best out of your cooking. What could be better?”

With most retailers selling some loose fruit and veg, such as potatoes, carrots, and apples, Love Food Hate Waste is looking to help retailers sell more.

Jackie Bailey, senior campaign manager for the action week, said: “We know that choosing what we will use will significantly cut the amount of food ending up in the bin – now is the time for retailers and shoppers to make that a reality.

“Increasing loose fruit and veg offerings in store will not only help slash waste, reduce hard to recycle plastics, and stop tens of thousands of tonnes of CO2e emissions – it will also respond to what shoppers would like to see. It’s a win-win situation.”


  • 2.9 million whole potatoes
  • 2.1 million whole carrots
  • 1.4 million whole tomatoes
  • 1 million whole bananas
  • 360,000 whole oranges
  • 170,000 whole onions
  • 170,000 whole lettuces
  • 33,000 whole apples

Share This Article
Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *