New figures released last month by industry body the British Retail Consortium (BRC) have revealed that the seven major UK supermarkets produced just 1.3% of all food waste in 2013.
The data has been collated by the Waste & Resources Action Programme, based on information from supermarket chains Asda, the Co-operative Food, M&S, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose (which make up 87.3% of the UK grocery market). It shows that of the estimated 15 million tonnes of food thrown away in the UK each year, only 200,000 tonnes comes directly from the retailers as a result of expiration dates, product recalls, breakages and products being taken out of the chill chain.
It is in fact UK householders who are the largest producers of food waste, accounting for 7 million tonnes, over half of all UK food waste.
The BRC states that supermarkets have been working with customers to help them reduce household food waste by printing advice on how to use and store leftovers correctly on product packaging. In addition to this, there have been online and in store campaigns highlighting food waste, as well as amendments to freezing guidance and the introduction of innovative new packaging designs to keep food fresher for longer.
These various initiatives have helped cut household food waste by 15%, or around 1.3 million tonnes, between 2007 and 2012.
The BRC also claims that supermarkets are working to address waste in the grocery retail supply chain, where an estimated 4.1 million tonnes of food and drink is wasted each year, the majority arising during manufacture.
How Can We Help?
Here at Equinox Recycling, we provide two food waste collection services – naked (no packaging) and packaged. The naked food waste is a more popular and efficient method of food recycling, typically being placed into 240litre wheeled bins lined with BioBags. Most food packaging (once incinerated) can be recycled, but due to the high level of contaminate from food, the non-recyclable packaging would have to be incinerated to maximise recycling rates. This service is provided as a frequent collection service, however we can provide one-off collections for bulk quantities of food waste.
For more information, please call our friendly and experienced sales team on 0845 520 21 21 or use the contact form on our website.