A study has revealed more than a third of food waste collected from the kerbside in Somerset is still in its packaging.

The figure of 36% was revealed by Somerset Waste Partnership to mark the county's first Food Waste Week.

It said last year more than 46,000 tonnes of food waste was collected from the county’s kerbsides, with an estimated carbon impact of 172,000 tonnes - the equivalent of an extra 66,000 vehicles on the road for a year.

 A spokesperson said: "Cutting food waste is good for the planet and good for your pocket. Yet food waste makes up more than a quarter of the contents of the average Somerset refuse bin."

Of that food waste:


· Only 28% was food that really couldn’t be eaten (like eggshells and bones).

· 72%  could have been avoided.

· 36% was thrown away still in its packaging.


Throughout the week Somerset Waste Partnership (SWP) shared tips and advice on how to reduce your own food waste.

 it advised people to visit somersetwaste.gov.uk/foodwasteweek and follow @somersetwaste on Facebook, Twitter and Next Door for guidance covering:

 · How to buy better – including the importance of meal planning and lists, and how to get perfect portions.

· Making the most of leftovers – including links to popular recipes.

· Understanding food labelling – the difference between Use By, Best Before and Sell By dates.

· Savvy storage – including how to make the most of your fridge and freezer.

· How to recycle your food waste in SWP’s weekly collections.

 The spokesperson added: "As well as being one of the best ways to reduce your carbon footprint, the soaring cost of food means reducing food waste is more important than ever financially.

 "Nationally the average UK household could save £14 per week, or £728 per year, by reducing food waste.

 "Some food waste is inevitable and it is important to recycle any waste that cannot be avoided. Food that goes in the bin contributes more to our carbon footprint than food that is recycled.

 "All the food waste recycling collected by SWP stays in Somerset and is sent to an anaerobic digestion plant near Bridgwater. There it is turned into electricity for homes and businesses, and nutrient-rich soil improver."

Councillor Sarah Dyke, Chair of the Somerset Waste Board, said: “Wasted food is wasted resource and wasted money, and so much of it can be avoided.

“It’s important that we all think more about the little changes that can make a big difference. Recycling is great but reducing is even better.”

To keep up to date with waste services, sign up for the SWP e-newsletter somersetwaste.gov.uk or follow @somersetwaste on Facebook or Twitter.