Supermarkets among more than 100 organisations pledging to help halve food waste

13th June 2019 | Recycling

UK supermarkets and food companies have signed a pledge to help halve food waste by 2030. More than 100 businesses and organisations, including all of the UK’s major supermarkets, have committed to “ground-breaking action” to drive down food waste and raise public awareness, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said.

An estimated 10.2 million tonnes of food and drink are wasted every year in the UK after leaving the farm gate, worth around £20 billion. It is estimated that UK householders spend £15 billion every year on food that could have been eaten but ends up being thrown away, equating to £500 a year for the average household.

Food Waste

The announcement follows the government’s new food surplus and waste champion, Ben Elliot, urging organisations to Step Up To The Plate at a symposium last month. It comes as Prime Minister, Theresa May, announced that the UK would legislate for a new legal target to cut greenhouse gases to “net zero” by 2050.

Environment Secretary Michael Gove, who warned last month that food production was extravagant and profligate, said, “I am delighted to see so many UK food businesses commit to game-changing action to cut food waste, and I hope that others follow suit. The UK is showing real leadership in this area, but each year millions of tonnes of food is waste. Together we will end the environmental and economic scandal that is food waste.”

Mr Elliot said, “We are pleased to see these retailers committing to change. To those retailers yet to sign the pledge – why not? You have a responsibility to step up and do your bit. We will be highlighting those who participate and those who do not. The food waste crisis can only be solved by collective action.

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