The figure represents an encouraging 7% reduction in food waste per person and savings for citizens of over £1b per year compared to 2015.
Household food waste now totals 6.6m tonnes per year (food and inedible parts), down from 7.1m in 2015.
Total food waste, across households and the supply chain, sits at 9.5m tonnes per year as compared to 10m in 2015.
WRAP’s data also shows that the rate of reduction was faster across 2015 to 2018 than across the five years previous.
The progress can be attributed to factors such as clearer food packaging labelling, more local authorities offering food waste collections, and increased public awareness, aided by WRAP’s Love Food Hate Waste campaign.
However, WRAP’s report shows that UK households still waste 4.5m tonnes of food that could have been eaten, worth £14b each year.
WRAP’s latest annual citizen survey, released today, also shows that while more people are now aware of food waste as an issue, only 39% connect household food waste with environmental impact.
The greenhouse gas emissions associated with food waste equate to 5% of UK territorial emissions – the same produced by 10 million cars.
Additionally, WRAP’s milestone report reveals a 4% food waste reduction in the supply chain since 2015, which shows progress from businesses – but WRAP suggests actions need to be stepped up if global food waste is to be halved by 2030, one of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
Marcus Gover, chief executive at WRAP, said: “We are in a new decade and have just ten years if we are to honour our international commitment to halve food waste.
“This really matters because it is untenable that we carry on wasting food on such a monumental scale when we are seeing the visible effects of climate change every day, and when nearly a billion people go hungry every day.
“This great news announced today means we are starting to wake up to the reality of food waste, but we are too often turning a blind eye to what is happening in our homes.
“We are all thinking about what we can do for the environment and this is one of the most simple and powerful ways we can play our part.
“By wasting less food, we are helping to tackle the biggest challenges this century – feeding the world whilst protecting our planet.”
WRAP’s Courtauld Commitment 2025 has been charting the UK’s food waste reduction since 2007.
In light of the new report’s findings, WRAP will launch a new public campaign in 2020 to spark conversation about food waste across the UK and complement the work of Love Food Hate Waste.