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ARU consumer psychologist will seek household solution to £14bn food waste issue with WRAP funding



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A consumer psychologist at Anglia Ruskin University has been awarded funding from the charity WRAP to help tackle the food waste issue, said to cost UK households almost £14bn a year.

We throw away about 4.5 million tonnes of food waste annually - 16 per cent of all food purchased, or enough to fill eight Wembley Stadiums, much of which ends up in household mixed waste.

Food waste is a £14bn-a-year problem in the UK
Food waste is a £14bn-a-year problem in the UK

WRAP says this means each person in the UK wastes about 69kg of food annually, worth £210, with fresh fruit and vegetables the most binned items.

Dr Cathrine Jansson-Boyd’s £59,122 funding from WRAP will enable her to investigate whether households are less likely to waste fresh food if they are provided with clear and detailed information about the contents of their fridge.

Some 200 households will be recruited for the seven-and-a-half-month study and will use a chart to record all fresh food bought, which will feature dates the food needs to be used by and advise whether items can be frozen, should it not be eaten by its use-by date.

Dr Cathrine Jansson-Boyd, associate professor in consumer psychology at Anglia Ruskin University. Picture: ARU
Dr Cathrine Jansson-Boyd, associate professor in consumer psychology at Anglia Ruskin University. Picture: ARU

Dr Jansson-Boyd said: “This new study will focus on whether presenting information, in a clear and accessible way, about exactly what’s in our fridge and how long it’s been there can change our behaviour and lead to less food being wasted.

“As fresh food is the most wasted type of food in the UK our research will specifically focus on this, therefore ensuring a bigger environmental impact if the trial is found to reduce household food waste.

“The study could potentially result in a method that can be easily implemented and used in households across the UK, ensuring that we eat what we buy, helping us to save money as well as precious resources.”

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