Currently, 10 million tonnes of food waste is produced in the UK annually. With this in mind, Costa Coffee has signed up to the government’s pledge to help halve food waste by 2030.

Recently, Costa Coffee attended the ‘Step up to the Plate’ symposium, hosted by the government’s Food Surplus and Waste Champion, Ben Elliot. Alongside several leading High Street brands and supermarkets, Costa Coffee has pledged to act and help raise public awareness in partnership with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

What a Waste

10.2 million tonnes of food waste is produced annually in the UK; with total household food waste now reported as 7.1 million tonnes. Of this, the amount of food that could have been eaten (‘avoidable food waste’) is 70% – or 5 million tonnes.

Of this waste, only 1.8 million tonnes is currently recycled (either by composting or anaerobic digestion). Only 12% of household food waste that is collected by local authorities is recycled, with the remaining 88% ending up in the residual waste stream.

Food waste puts a big burden on the finances of each household, along with local councils. In fact, wasted food is estimated to cost each British household £250-£400 a year. This totals £15,000 to £24,000 in a lifetime!

Top Tips to Reduce Food Waste

With some forethought and care, food waste can be minimised. Top tips include:

  1. Shop smartly – plan ahead and make a list of foods you’ll consume during the week
  2. Don’t over-serve – don’t pile food sky high! It will most likely end up wasted
  3. Save (and eat) leftovers
  4. Store food correctly – this will prevent food from going off quickly
  5. Treat expiration and sell by dates as guidelines
  6. Love your freezer! Batch cook and store food in the freezer

Costa Coffee’s Pledge

It’s not just at home where food waste is a problem. The retail sector accounts for 260,000 tonnes of food waste, the manufacturing industry accounts for 1.85 million tonnes and the hospitality and food service sector for 1 million.

In light of these startling statistics, Costa Coffee has pledged to reduce waste in their cafes wherever possible.

Commenting on the pledge, Victoria Moorhouse, Head of Sustainability for Costa Coffee, says: “At Costa Coffee we are committed to playing our part in reducing waste wherever possible. We have a number of initiatives to ensure there is minimal food waste, which includes, first and foremost, an efficient ordering system designed to reduce waste before it is created.

We also allow food sold during the last hour of trading that is in date but cannot be sold the following day to be discounted by 50% and empower our stores to make food donations to local charities via our Food Surplus Policy.

Finally, for those stores whose waste streams we manage, any food waste that cannot be redistributed we send to Anaerobic Digestion, where it is turned into biogas and bio fertiliser.

We are delighted to be working alongside government to drive change and share best practice, stepping up to the plate and delivering collective action.”

Environment Secretary Michael Gove commended Costa Coffee on their pledge to reduce food waste. He says: “Congratulations to Costa Coffee for stepping up to the plate and committing to game-changing action to cut food waste. The UK is showing real leadership in this area, and together we will end the environmental and economic scandal that is food waste.”

For more details on how to reduce food waste.


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