Here's How To Lunch On The Go Without Adding To The UK Waste Mountain

Food-to-go generates 11 billion items of packaging waste a year 😲

No matter how many times you promise yourself this week will finally be the week you bring in a packed lunch every day, it’s hard to stick to the habit.

Despite good intentions, those meal-prepping aspirations are usually out of the window by Tuesday – instead, you find yourself reaching for a Tesco meal deal or Pret baguette.

But our ‘lunch on the go’ habit is costing the environment. An astonishing 11 billion items of packaging waste are created every year as these items are wrapped in plastic and cardboard, according to research from environmental charity Hubbub.

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Hubbub surveyed 1,200 people on their lunch habits and found the average person generates 276 pieces of rubbish each year – from sandwich boxes, to crisps and napkins.

The charity has called on people to rethink their lunch habits, creating a quiz to help people figure out how to save money and make more sustainable lunch choices – as part of its #foodsavvy campaign.

Tips on having a sustainable lunch on-the-go:

1. An obvious option is to opt for a packed lunch in a reusable lunch box. You can also avoid buying plastic bottles by investing in a decent reusable one (read our guide to the best bottles here).

2. Hubbub recommends planning ahead with meals to reduce food waste – print a copy of its meal planner here to make it easy.

3. Have access to a fridge and microwave at work? Reheat leftovers from dinner the night before to save money and waste.

4. If you don’t have supplies at work, bring your own cutlery to avoid using disposable knives and forks, if you can.

5. Look out for cheap boxes of ‘ugly’ fruit and veg on sale in supermarkets at a cut price. Check out our guide here on where to find them.

6. Or, if you’re someone who prefers not to cook, check out food waste apps such as Too Good To Go, Karma or Olio (if they operate in your area). These are like marketplaces for food that would otherwise go to waste – and you might be able to bag yourself a bargain.