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Tesco generated 30,000 tonnes of food waste in six months

In the first six months of the year 30,000 tonnes of food waste were generated in Tesco stores and distribution centres in the UK.

A report combined figures from the retailer with waste data from the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) to give an overall food waste ‘footprint’ for each of 25 bestselling products.

The major items going to waste included:

  • 68% of all salad grown for bagged salads
  • 40% of apples
  • 50% of bakery items
  • 25% grapes
  • 20% of all bananas

One-third of the waste from bagged salads occurs at home according to the data.

Tesco said it would end multi-buys on large bags of salad and that it is developing mix-and-match promotions for smaller bags to help customers reduce the amount they are wasting at home.

The retailer added ‘display until’ dates are being removed from fresh fruit and vegetables. Smaller cases are being used in store and 600 bakeries in larger stores have been rearranged to reduce the amount of bread on display, leading to better stock control and less waste.

Richard Swannell, WRAP director of sustainable food systems, said: “We welcome Tesco’s approach to tackling food waste across their whole supply chain, and by identifying the hot spots, they can tackle these areas effectively. 

“Food waste is a global issue and collaborative action is essential if we are to successfully reduce food waste and reap the financial and environmental benefits of doing so.”

Tesco claims it is the first major UK retailer to reveal the levels of food waste across its entire UK operations.

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