Resources minister Lord de Mauley has said further action was required to help people reduce food waste and supermarkets could also do more on the issue.
In a round of questions on food waste in the House of Lords (12 Feb), de Mauley said: “Food waste is costing households a substantial amount of money… There is more to be done to help people [reduce food waste] and I agree that supermarkets have a significant role to play in this area.”
De Mauley outlined the Government’s plans to reduce domestic food waste as working with WRAP on voluntary agreements with food retailers, manufacturers and the hospitality sector, which launched last summer.
The minister praised the effect of another voluntary agreement, the Courtauld Commitment, on reducing food waste.
“The major food retailers have been taking action to reduce food waste through the Courtauld Commitment where they have been helping consumers save money and waste less through innovations such as re-sealable salad bags, recipes for leftovers and smaller sized loaves of bread,” he said.
He also said the Government supported WRAP’s Love Food Hate Waste campaign, and their work with food businesses to help them make informed decisions about date labeling.
“The waste review sets food waste as a priority outlining the government’s commitment to tackle it and focusing on waste prevention,” he added.
This was in response to Baroness Jenkin’s (left) question on Government plans to reduce food waste. She made the point that household food waste costs the average household £640 a year, a total of £12bn a year to the country.
Jenkin asked whether supermarkets should be doing more to reduce food waste in the home.
“Whilst for example ASDA’s promotion of WRAP’s Love Food Hate Waste campaign and the recent announcement by Sainsbury’s that their guidance to move from ‘freeze on day of purchase’ to ‘freeze up to the use-by date’ is welcomed, there is much more they could be doing to support and encourage consumers in this area,” she said.
Lord Deben, the former environment secretary, also weighed in on the debate to ask if it was time to ban food waste from landfill.
De Mauley responded that the Government was considering restricting biodegradable materials and textiles from going to landfill, but was currently examining the evidence and looking at whether this was an affordable solution for industry and the public sector.