London, May 8 : Shocking as it may seem, but every year Britons throw away edible foodstuff worth a whopping 10 billion pounds, a survey has revealed.
The Waste and Resources Action Programme (Wrap) said that an average UK household throws out one-third of all food bought, and wastes almost 420 pounds each year. On the other hand, households with children waste almost 610 pounds by throwing out edible food.
According to the report, the figures, described staggering" and "shocking" by the government, has crossed the previous estimates by almost 2 billion dollars.
The survey also revealed that more than half the discarded food, worth 6 billion pounds a year, was bought but was thrown untouched.
The report said that householders throw out 1.3 million unopened yoghurt pots, 5,500 whole chickens and 440,000 ready meals everyday.
It was found that discarded products worth around 1 billion pounds were still "in date", and local authorities pay out the same amount each year in disposing of food waste.
The majority of the wasted food was sent to landfill sites where it emitted methane, a powerful greenhouse gas.
The report concluded that cutting food waste could put a check on carbon dioxide emissions by 18 million tons.
"These findings are staggering in their own right, but at a time when global food shortages are in the headlines this kind of wastefulness becomes even more shocking," The Daily Express quoted Environment minister Joan Ruddock, as saying.
Wrap chief executive Liz Goodwin said: "Food waste has a significant environmental impact. This research confirms that it is an issue for us all, whether as consumers, retailers, local or central government."
"What shocked me the most was the cost of our food waste at a time of rising food bills, and generally a tighter pull on our purse strings. It highlights that this is an economic and social issue, as well as about how much we understand the value of our food."