UK supermarket giant Tesco has admitted it threw away close to 30,000 tonnes of food – in just six months.
It also said a combination of supermarkets and households wasted 68 per cent of bagged salad, 40 per cent of apples and nearly half of bakery items.
The supermarket chain published its own data – alongside industry-wide figures – as part of a drive to cut waste.
It said as a result of its findings it would end multi-buy offers on large bags of salads.
Richard Swannell, director of Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) said: “We welcome Tesco’s approach to tackling food waste across their whole supply chain, and by identifying the hot spots, they can tackle these areas effectively. Food waste is a global issue and collaborative action is essential if we are to successfully reduce food waste and reap the financial and environmental benefits of doing so.”
Data released by Tesco showed in the first half of this year the supermarket chain threw away 28,500 tonnes of food. In 2011, WRAP estimated 15 million tonnes of food waste is generated each year in the UK.
Matt Simister, Tesco Commercial Director of Group Food, said: “We’ve all got a responsibility to tackle food waste and there is no quick-fix single solution. Little changes can make a big difference, like storing fruit and veg in the right way. Families are wasting an estimated £700 a year and we want to help them keep that money in their pockets, rather than throwing it in the bin.”
The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the UN Environment Programme estimates 1.3 billion tonnes of food goes to waste globally each year. That wastage is thought to cost the global economy one trillion dollars annually.
The FAO estimates nearly 870 million people, or one in eight of the world’s population, were suffering from chronic undernourishment in 2010-2012.