Half of UK consumers value sustainability, but 80% discard fresh food, survey reveals

Despite a considerable rise in awareness of the impact of food production and waste on climate change, the UK is still falling behind in sustainability responsibilities, according to new research from meal plan company KBK.

Its survey revealed that although half of the people said that sustainability has become more important to them in the last 12 months, one in two Brits waste food as they can’t use fresh produce fast enough, with 80 percent of the waste being fruit and vegetables.


The research, which questioned 2,000 UK consumers, was commissioned by KBK, a company that aims to increase sustainability by producing meals made to order, reducing food waste across UK households.


Greater London is the region that wastes the most food, with one in three not believing that they can make a difference by shopping sustainably. Over 10 percent said they waste food all of the time.


Yorkshire and The Humber topped the list for lack of sustainability, as nearly one in four of those surveyed “do not care about sustainability at all.”


The survey also revealed a decrease in meat-eaters nationwide, with the UK seeing a rise in vegetarianism and flexitarians.


The 16-24 age group proved to eat the least meat, with half of those surveyed being non-meat eaters compared to just two in ten for the over-55 age group.


Greater London is also the region with the lowest number of meat-eaters, as 40 percent of those surveyed don’t eat meat. The meatiest areas were the South West and Scotland, where over three-quarters of the population consume meat.


Although UK consumers aren’t as honest as they claim to be when looking to be sustainable, those surveyed think sustainability acknowledgment should be taught at a young age.


Over half of those surveyed said the way to raise more awareness around disposing of food waste is through more education in school.


“We conducted this research to get a clearer understanding of not only how sustainable the British public are but also to understand whether they feel they can make a difference,” says Bethany Trundle, marketing manager for KBK.


“One of our key aims as a business is to reduce waste as much as possible; we must do everything we can to minimize our impact on the environment. Waste plays a key role here.


"Every decision you make to become more sustainable makes a real and significant difference,” she highlights.


Source: Food Ingredients First