This report provides estimates of the quantity and types of food and drink waste generated by Welsh households in 2021/22. The report also looks at the reasons for discarding, the financial cost, and the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions related to wasted food.

Why are these findings important?

  • Food waste will play a key role in achieving targets set out by Welsh Government to reach zero waste and net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
  • Beyond Recycling is a blueprint for the circular economy in Wales that contains a strategic commitment to a non-binding target to reduce avoidable food waste to 50% of 2007 levels by 2025, and a reduction of 60% by 2030.

How much household food waste is generated?

  • In total (edible and inedible parts) 309,000 tonnes of household food waste was generated in Wales in 2021/22. On average, this is 100 kg per person for that year or 230 kg per household.
  • Of the total household food waste, 75% was classified as the edible parts, food that was intended for human consumption.

What are the environmental impacts of household food waste?

The greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) associated with wasted food and drink (i.e., edible parts) in Wales accounted for approximately 950,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent in 2021/22.

How much does throwing this food away cost us?

The total financial cost of wasted food and drink to Welsh householders in 2021/22 was £786,000,000 or £250 per person or £580 per average household.

What are the main reasons for food waste?

19% of all food was wasted because it smelled or looked off and 14% because it was past the date on the label. Both reasons can be classed as food that was thrown away because it was ‘not used in time’ and so combined makes up 33% of all food wasted. These reasons can be used to indicate what behaviours could reduce food waste.

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  • Executive summary - Household Food & Drink Waste In Wales 2021-22

    PDF, 460.38 KB

  • Full report - Household Food And Drink Waste in Wales 2021-22

    PDF, 977.2 KB




Food and drink