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Faster planning process needed to tackle food waste

Asda has blamed the slow planning process for hampering its attempts to deal with food waste.

The planning process for composting sites is very slow and needs speeding up, Asda head of corporate social responsibility Ian Bowles told MRW.

He said the supermarket was raising the issue with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Asdas Canford Heath store in Dorset and its distribution centre in Dartford have achieved zero waste and will be used as blueprints for the rest of the supermarkets outlets. The Dorset store uses specially designed composting units to convert its back of store food waste into quality compost as part of Asdas drive to achieve zero waste by 2010.

Bowles said the supermarket could achieve zero waste by 2008 if the planning process is speeded up. His comment came after Local Environment minister Ben Bradshaw called the amount of food waste in the UK scandalous and said more effort to tackle the problem was needed in the next year.

The Waste & Resources Action Programme has a target of reducing food waste by 100,000 tonnes by 2008.

Somerfield said it had been addressing the food waste problem through trials into prolonging the shelf life of food. Head of technical solutions Stephen Ridge said the supermarket had increased shelf-life by six days on six ready meal lines - saving 150 tonnes of product waste.

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