Bagged salad given out by takeaway outlets has been revealed as Britain’s biggest source of food waste – with waste experts calling it a “scandal”.
UK waste management company BusinessWaste.co.uk claims research it has undertaken shows that almost all bagged salads given away by takeaway food establishments are never eaten, with many thrown into waste bins unopened.
It says that public waste bins near some curry houses and takeaway kebab shops are often “filled to overflowing” with bagged salads as customers dump them at the first opportunity.
“We tried to find out who eats these salads, and we found literally nobody prepared to confess that they did,” said BusinessWaste spokesman Mark Hall, “In our opinion, they’re nothing but a huge waste of food – thousands of tons going to waste.”
BusinessWaste carried out a poll of takeaway food customers at several locations and found that 94% throw bagged salad in bin without opening, 1% put it in the fridge and throw it away later and the rest leave it in the shop or give it back to the delivery person.
The company suggests the reluctance of many people to eat salads from takeaways down to the mistaken perception that there’s probably something wrong with it, or that it has been prepared in an unhygienic kitchen.
Mr Hall said that takeaways needed to think twice before throwing in a bag of salad with an order and could slash the volume of waste overall simply by asking if the customer actually wants it.