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A wasteful society: what can faith leaders do?

09 January 2015


From Fay Wilson-Rudd

Sir, - I read Laurence Young's letter (2 January) with interest. Alongside the figures quoted for surplus food produced each year, it is worth noting the amount of food wasted by households.

In November 2013, The Guardian reported that the average UK family was wasting nearly £60 per month. This is approximately 24 meals a month, or 4.2 billion tonnes of food and drink, worth about £2.6 million. The Guardian went on to indicate that 86 million chickens are wasted each year, while the equivalent of 24 million slices of bread, 5.8 million potatoes, and 5.9 million glasses of milk is wasted daily.

NHS England reported in 2014 on waste of a different kind. In 2012-13, people failed to keep 6.9 million hospital appointments. At £108 per appointment, that equals £745,200,000. Twelve million GP appointments were also not kept. In the diocese of Bath & Wells alone, prescription medication worth around £12 million was returned to dispensaries.

When and how will the leaders of the faith communities encourage people to live in a responsible way?

Fay Wilson-Rudd
Flat 3, Old School Place, North Grove, Wells BA5 2TD

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