Here’s How UK’s Supermarkets Are Tackling Food Waste Problem!
Waste is a big problem in Britain, and steps are being taken to eliminate plastic. In fact, Theresa May has pledged for the same for 2042. Countries like Iceland are investing considerably in efforts and policies that reduce plastic in branded products. However, what about food waste? Food Standards Agency data says that about 7 million tonnes of food/drinks are thrown away in the UK, which could be eaten, and that costs £12.5 billion. With waste management service Reconomy, which offers variety of skip hire, we take a look at what supermarkets in the UK are doing to reduce food waste.
Tesco has over 6,500 stores in the UK, and the chain serves about 50 million shoppers each week. What’s really astonishing is the approach they have for food waste. Just 1% of the food is wasted, which removes staggering 46,000-tonnes of waste from the total. Surplus foods or products that cannot be sold in the store owing to visual appearance are available for charities to collect without a charge, thanks to the use of FoodCloud app. Tesco is already trying this in Asia and has offered six million meals to more than 3,000 charities.
Along with the app, Tesco has ensured that no food goes to the landfill since 2009. Baked food items that are not sold are transformed into animal feed, while oils that are left over are being converted in to effective bio-diesels. Additionally, anaerobic digestion is used when there are no alternatives. Tesco has successfully managed to try this across Europe, including Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia. More than 400 stores donate food to foodbanks locally, and they have managed to donate 14.5 million meals in like five years. Tesco also formed the Sustainable Development Goal with 24 of its largest suppliers, to eliminate food waste by 50% by the end of 2030.
As the fifth biggest food retail in the UK, Co-Op Food has over 2,500 stores. It sent 50 tonnes of food to FareShare in 2015, which is almost ten times more than what they did in 2014. FareShare is the company that offers food to FoodCloud app. The chain follows the ‘no waste in landfills’ rule, and they have recently decided that out-of-date products will be sold for like 10p, which will allow saving of about 50,000 items each year, not including products that have use-by date, like dairy and meat.
For the environment and our planet, these moves are important and we can only expect more supermarkets to follow.