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​Cutting back doesn’t check nation’s throw-away culture

Blog post   •   Aug 06, 2015 16:58 BST

At a time when many households still feel the impact of austerity around them and are making cutbacks to keep the finances afloat, new elephant research suggests this has not put a stop to the nation’s throw away culture.

Looking at the weekly food shop - and what people spend on groceries – a significant portion of the shopping trolley ends up in the bin – more than 10% of the average household’s food spend ends up being thrown away.

The research found that the younger you are the more likely you are to throw away food. Propensity to throw food away did not seem to correlate with wealth or overall food spend.

The new study also explored the shelf life of a wide range of big-ticket household items and appliances - and whether people were prone to repair or replace. Across a wide range of electrical, gadget and white goods items, people looked to replace and renew items within 24-36 months of buying them.

The research is one of four new editions of elephant’s rolling Austerity Britain insight series, which tracks consumer outlook, confidence and buying habits – with a specific focus on how their consumption habits have reacted to broader economic factors.

More information on elephant’s new research titles and forthcoming insight events are detailed on the elephant website: