Zero Waste Scotland has launched a “love your leftovers” campaign to cut the 2,900 tonnes of beef – the equivalent of 26m burgers – wasted by Scottish households every year.
The organisation said meat and fish top the list of the most valuable food thrown away, totalling £190m every year. Beef, lamb, pork and poultry waste makes up 22,000 tonnes worth £140m. Cutting food waste could save Scottish households up to £460 a year each, it said.
As part of its Love Food Hate Waste campaign, Zero Waste Scotland is suggesting consumers cut waste by using leftovers for dishes such as casseroles and meatballs.
More than £5m worth of food each year is thrown away because it is not used in time, Zero Waste Scotland said. Confusion over dates on labels, caution about meat safety and worries over freezing and reheating can lead to good meat being thrown away even thought it is still fine to eat.
Ylva Haglund, food waste campaign manager at Zero Waste Scotland, said: “Our research has shown that despite our love of beef in Scotland, we still throw away millions of pounds worth every year, with an equivalent weight to 26m burgers, or the weight of 13m steaks, in Scotland.”
In February Scottish environment secretary Richard Lochhead pledged to cut food waste in Scotland by a third by 2025, to save businesses and households at least £500m.
Jim McLaren, chairman of Quality Meat Scotland, said: “Our industry also has a great environmental message with 85% of Scottish agricultural land unsuited to growing vegetables or cereals but ideal for quality beef and lamb production.
“Animal welfare is also a priority and the Scotch Beef, Scotch Lamb and Specially Selected Pork brands are underpinned by the longest established quality assurance schemes in the world.”