Food Waste Action Week - Wide shot of a kitchen - oven and open fridge full of ingredients in view

Find out how to reduce your food waste with our expert tips from climate action charity WRAP’s Dr Sam Hubble for Food Waste Action Week (18-24 March).

I’ve teamed up with Team JO ahead of Food Waste Action Week to show you how we can all play our part to help reduce food waste, helping you to save money, save time, and reduce the environmental impact from growing, making and transporting our food.

We all waste food. I’ve spent a big chunk of my career advising people on how to tackle food waste, but I still occasionally get it wrong and forget about that half an onion at the back of the fridge. While we’ve made fantastic progress in the UK, our food waste stats are still pretty sobering.

As of 2021 – the most recent reliable estimate available – 10.7 million tonnes of food was wasted in the UK per year. Of this, 60% – a staggering 6.4 million tonnes – was wasted in our homes (the rest from the hospitality, food manufacturing, retail and farm sectors). This figure includes ‘inedible parts’ such as bones and eggshells, but if you remove those, a shocking 4.7 million tonnes of edible food is wasted in our homes – worth £17 billion. That’s an average of 70kg per person or 167kg for the average household (worth £600 a year).

Sounds depressing, doesn’t it? Let’s get onto more positive stuff: what we can do about it!



Creating a weekly meal plan can help you reduce food you don’t need, saving you time, effort and money. Love Food Hate Waste have some great advice on creating easy, flexible meal plans.

TOP TIP Keep a day free in your weekly plan to have as a ‘use up’ day.5 containers of meal prepped veggies


Whether you use notes on your phone or a list on your fridge, the easiest way to take control of what you’re buying is to make a shopping list. Using your meal plan, check what food you already have, then work out what you need. I recommend keeping your list up to date throughout the week to prevent a last-minute panic before heading to the shops.

TOP TIP Run out of time to write a full list? Take a ‘shelfie’ of both your fridge and your store cupboard so you know what you already have.


Supermarkets are starting to sell more loose fresh fruit and veg, making it easier to only buy what you need. WRAP research found that if all apples, bananas and potatoes were sold loose, we could save 60,000 tonnes of food waste, and reduce plastic packaging by 8,800 tonnes

TOP TIP ‘Choose What You’ll Use’ is the theme for 2024’s Food Waste Action Week, which launches on Monday 18 March. Follow Love Food Hate Waste to keep up with all the action


Did you know that potatoes should be stored in the fridge? Old guidance used to recommend that potatoes are stored in a cool, dark place, such as a cupboard. However, following extensive, peer-reviewed research the Food Standards Agency updated the guidance in 2023 to say that potatoes should now be stored in the fridge.  Fresh potatoes are the number one wasted item in UK homes, with 510,000 tonnes being wasted each year (that’s roughly 2.9 million whole potatoes wasted every single day!). 


When was the last time you checked the temperature of your fridge? Only half of us know that our fridge should be between 0 and 5oC, but the average fridge-temperature is 7oC. Check out Chill The Fridge Out, where you can enter the brand of your fridge for tailored instructions to set your fridge temperature.

TOP TIP Make spinach or salad leaves last longer in the fridge by placing a piece of kitchen roll in the bag and sealing it with a clip.


There are a few staples that we all know can be frozen, but did you know that you can ‘hit pause’ and give yourself extra time to eat these lesser-known freezer-friendly foods?

TOP TIP Check out Jamie’s useful freezer guidance.

Tomato sauce, sliced avocados and green beans in food bags, labeled and ready to be frozen



A quarter of the food we waste at home is because we cook too much, so learning how to portion control is vital in reducing how much we waste. Check out Love Food Hate Waste’s portion calculator to find out how much you should be cooking – whether that’s for yourself, a group of friends, small children or a mixture.

TOP TIP Don’t know how much spaghetti to cook? Use your index finger and thumb to make a bunch of dry spaghetti that is about the size of a pound coin for one adult portion.


Whether it’s a toastie, wrap, a curry or soup, having a few flexible meals in your repertoire can be a great way of using up those odds and ends that might otherwise be at risk of being binned. For more inspo, check out Jamie’s leftover recipes and ideas.

KNOW YOUR DATES Read more about the ‘best-before’ myth


Even with careful planning, sometimes there will be food in the fridge that we won’t get round to eat, so why not give it away to someone else who will? There are free food sharing apps that you can use, or there are more low-tech ways to do it. In our office at WRAP we have a ‘sharing shelf’ where anyone can put food they don’t want or need, and then it’s a free-for-all amongst hungry colleagues! It’s a little thing, but it really helps us to minimise any food waste at work – could you introduce something similar at your workplace? 


Why not put things to the test and keep a food waste diary for a week? It doesn’t have to be too scientific, but having a clearer picture of what you’re wasting and why will help you to avoid wasting it next time, and form new habits – not to mention a huge sense of satisfaction!

Looking for more advice and guidance on how to reduce your food waste? Explore Jamie’s Food Waste hub

About the author

Dr Sam Hubble

Sam is a Behaviour Change Specialist at climate action NGO WRAP. He’s an expert in understanding how and why we behave in certain ways, and focuses on applying this to solve environmental problems. Passionate about tackling the huge environmental, social and economic issue of food waste, he works with businesses and campaigns across the world to change the way we sell, buy and use food to make it easier for people to waste less at home.

Dr Sam Hubble


How to, Leftovers