Britain is a nation of wasters who throw out hundreds of pounds of food each year, a new study has suggested.

Despite a tightening of purse strings, the average person still bins £400 worth a perishables from one year to the next.

And where previous generations would have saved every last morsel, more than half of those polled (56%) admitted discarding bread every week.

Meanwhile, more than a third said they threw out bananas on a regular basis or disposed of bagged salads which go uneaten.

However the study of more than 3,000 adults identified something of a gender divide - only 1% of women said they binned chocolate compared with 3% of men.

Despite a wasteful mentality, the study found most people (73%) felt guilty for allowing food to go off.

And some 60% said they would pack up their leftovers for lunch, while 92% said they reused shopping bags.

On a regional level, those who claim to be the least wasteful were found to live in Essex where only 2% of people admitted throwing out items every day.

The worst offenders for this were in Brighton where 16% of people put their hands up to binning uneaten food while this figure was slightly lower in London, at 13%.

The study was carried out by OnePoll for Waitrose earlier this month.

The items most frequently binned each week are:

  • Bread
  • Bananas
  • Bagged Salads
  • Lettuce
  • Cold Meats
  • Apples
  • Milk
  • Yoghurt
  • Cucumber
  • Potatoes