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Sainsbury’s Launching £10m Project To Tackle Food Waste

| International retailers

Sainsbury’s is launching a £10m project to tackle household food waste with a five year plan aimed at transforming communities across the UK.


The ‘Waste Less, Save More’ initiative launches today with a search for one UK town to benefit from £1m investment and become the test bed for innovation to discover which initiatives are most effective in reducing household food waste.

Findings and recommendations from the trial phase will be developed into a blueprint and made public in subsequent years so that communities across the country can benefit from the results.

Sainsbury’s said that it will then focus on supporting the changes that need to be made to make a long-term difference and measuring the impact of the activity, with the final phases of the project continuing to roll out change and explore opportunities to reduce other forms of waste.

Household food waste is an escalating issue which sees 7 million tonnes of food and drink wasted annually, with the average family throwing away £700 of food per year. This is just under half of the 15 million tonnes of food wasted in the UK.

Sainsbury’s CEO Mike Coupe, said: “We know that waste – and particularly food waste – is a big challenge for households across the UK and it’s something our customers really care about. Investing significantly in this area clearly demonstrates the scale of our ambition over the next five years and shows just how committed we are to helping our customers make a real difference in this area. We’re confident that the project, which will start with trialling and testing in one UK town, will result in positive change for many more.”

Dr Richard Swannell, Director Sustainable Food Systems WRAP, commented: "This is a great initiative by Sainsbury’s to help people reduce food waste at home. We know through our Love Food Hate Waste and Courtauld Commitment work that innovation and collaboration can significantly help reduce waste, delivering much needed cost and environmental savings. We look forward to working closely with Sainsbury’s throughout the project to share our experience and expertise to make a real difference locally and nationally.”

Sainsbury’s is looking for a trial town that has a population of between 15,000 and 300,000 and has a Sainsbury’s store within a five mile radius. It said that the town must also demonstrate a strong sense of community and be keen and willing to work together to tackle food waste. Sainsbury’s will work together with the town to devise a year-long investment plan, that might include fridge innovations for the home to track when food is beginning to go off; talking bins that give tips as rubbish is put in them; reward programmes to encourage recycling; new packaging to keep products fresher for longer; and educational programmes for local schools and community centres.

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