Supermarkets are one of the leading causes of food waste in the UK, yearly supermarkets throw away the equivalent of roughly 190,000 meals of edible food. With 14 million people living below the poverty line, and many of these people facing hunger, this amount of food waste created by our supermarkets is an injustice to those that cannot afford to eat. Especially as it has been calculated that the food wasted could feed those under the poverty line twice over, as this food they waste has the potential to feed 30 million people.
Supermarkets throw away the
equivalent of roughly
190,000 meals of edible food.
Food waste also has a significant effect on climate change. As food breaks down, on landfill, greenhouse gases are released. This includes methane which is 80% more warming than carbon dioxide.
There are many ways that our supermarkets can reduce and prevent food from becoming waste and ending up on landfill. One of the ways supermarkets can do this is by making sure their stock is monitored to make sure that food that is closer to its sell by dates are sold first. This can also be followed up by selling food items at a lower price if they are close to their sell by, best before and use by dates.
One of the biggest reasons for food not being bought, is that an item doesn’t look pleasing or is damaged. Supermarkets, such as Aldi are already beginning to combat this, by encouraging their customers to opt for their ‘wonky’ fruit and vegetables, that have cheaper prices. This means not food that would have usually been thrown away unsold, are now being sold to customers.
Supermarkets can prevent food waste and can also help to decrease hunger in the UK, by donating unwanted and surplus food. The food can be donated to food banks up and down the UK, that will produce food parcels for those that need them.
It is obvious that our supermarkets need to make changes in order to significantly reduce the amount of food they waste in order to prevent it from reaching landfill.