Retail and hospitality firms pledge to halve food waste by 2030
Nestlé, Tesco and Sainsbury’s are among a group of major food and hospitality brands that have committed to halve their food waste outputs by 2030.
The ‘Step up to the Plate’ pledge also includes a promise from signatories to measure, report and act on their food waste by the end of this year.
They will also encourage customers to buy only what they need, and eat all that they buy, with a number of social media influencers and chefs also signing up.
Environment secretary Michael Gove, said: "Every year, millions of tonnes of good, nutritious food is thrown away. This is an environmental, economic and moral scandal, and I am determined to tackle it.
"I urge businesses to join me in signing the pledge to deliver real change to stop good food going to waste."
Currently around 55,000 tonnes of surplus food is redistributed from retailers and food manufacturers every year, and it is estimated that a further 100,000 tonnes of food - equating to 250 million meals a year.
Instead, this food is currently sent away for generating energy from waste, anaerobic digestion to be used for fuel and fertiliser, or animal feed.
Wasting food squanders the energy and resources used in producing, transporting and packaging, and when sent to landfill it rots and produces methane, contributing to our greenhouse gas emissions.
The target to halve food waste by 2030 is in line with the UN's Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 12.3, with those signed-up also supporting a Food Conversation week of action in November this year to highlight the changes that society can make.
“Climate change is no longer a buzzword – we must all stand up and be counted. We squander 10 million tonnes of food and drink every year,” the government's food surplus and waste champion, Ben Elliot, said.
"Businesses throw away food worth an estimated £5bn and £15bn is wasted from our homes. The emissions this creates is the equivalent of every third car on the road. We simply must put an end to this."
Image credit: iStock
Chris Seekings is a reporter for TRANSFORM