Supermarkets in the UK are discarding 200,000 tonnes of food waste every year because of product expiries, recalls and breakages – but this is a comparatively small amount when compared to the country’s total food waste.
The data, compiled by the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) and published by the British Retail Consortium (BRC), also found that the seven largest supermarkets in the UK had improved their level of food waste by 10% in the five years up to 2012. The study covered retailers Asda, Co-operative Food, Marks and Spencer, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose.
Supermarket waste now represents little more than 1% of the UK’s total food waste amount – roughly 15m tonnes. BRC predicts that more than half of the country’s food waste continues to occur in the domestic environment, adding that campaigns launched by retailers to raise awareness of the problem of food waste had led to reductions in home-based food waste of an estimated 15%.
Andrew Opie, director of food and sustainability for BRC, said: “Our members are pleased to introduce new levels of transparency into the supply chain and today’s figures tell a positive story about the vast efforts grocery retailers have made to reduce their food waste to only 1.3 per cent of the total.
“At the same time we all need to continue to focus on where we can make the biggest reductions in food waste and that is in the supply chain and the home. We have a huge contribution to make and will continue our work with suppliers and consumers to build on the progress we have already made.”
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2022
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