Research shows that the hospitality sector is responsible for 10 per cent (one million tonnes) of the total 10.2 million tonnes of food wasted in the UK each year, with the cost of avoidable food waste varying between 38p and £1 for every meal served.

Previous research by the World Resources Institute (WRI) and WRAP across 700 companies in 17 countries, found a high return on investment for activities implemented to reduce food waste. The average business saving, across multiple sectors, was shown to be more than £14 for every £1 invested by a business into reducing food loss and waste.

A new campaign, called Guardians of Grub, has been launched by the government to tackle this ever-growing problem and help reduce the amount of food waste produced by restaurants and bars.

It is aiming to reduce food waste in the hospitality sector by 100,000 tonnes by 2025 through, “simple, low-cost changes to the way food is bought, prepared and served that have waste reduction in mind.”

75% of food thrown away by pubs, bars, cafes and restaurants could have been eaten, says WRAP the sustainability charity.

Marcus Gover, WRAP CEO said,

“We will not tackle the impact of global warming if we don’t fix the food system, and everyone needs to play their part. If everyone in the hospitality and food service industry put as much passion into reducing waste as they do into creating delicious food, it would make a massive difference to cutting the damage food waste is doing to our planet. Through this great new campaign, we are showing how everyone can reduce food waste without compromising on quality, or customer experience, and save money. It’s a double win; for the environment and for business.”

In addition to the campaign this September has been earmarked for a month of action, called Stand Up For Food. UKHospitality, the BBPA, the Sustainable Restaurant Association and the Federation of Wholesale Distributors have already pledged their support.