Scottish businesses are wasting 745,000 tonnes of food and drink – significantly more than households.
The extent of the food waste was revealed in a new report from Zero Waste Scotland (ZWS). The total adds up to 1.35 million tonnes once domestic food waste of 600,000 tonnes is included.
The figures, calculated from information gathered in 2013, will be used as a baseline for Scotland’s target of cutting food waste by a third by 2025.
Food losses incurred during primary production, for instance at a farm, were not counted in the survey but ZWS intends to quantify these areas in the future.
Food and drink production accounts for roughly a fifth of Scotland’s total carbon footprint so there are potentially massive savings to be made.
Iain Gulland, Chief Executive of ZWS said: “When we talk about the true scale of food waste in Scotland we need to look at the whole supply chain. Whilst household food waste remains the biggest sector, the fact that over half comes from business and public sector shows that we need clear leadership in these areas to make the transformative change we all want to see.”
Scotland has seen a 5.7% decrease in household food waste between 2009 and 2014, resulting in savings of £92 million.
The nation uses some of its food waste for biofuel production.