Britons waste 1.4 million edible bananas a day, research shows

The UK general public throws away 1.4 million edible bananas every day, according to research from Sainsbury's, which values the waste stream to cost around £80m a year.

Sainsbury’s has launched pop-up ‘banana rescue’ stations across more than 500 stores nationwide

Sainsbury’s has launched pop-up ‘banana rescue’ stations across more than 500 stores nationwide

The study, assembled by Government advisory body WRAP, found that a third of Britons would discard a banana if it had a minor bruise or black skin on the mark. Moreover, more than one in ten would throw away a banana if it shows any green on the skin, the study found.

Sainsbury’s has sought to rectify the situation by extending an in-store trial - which sees the bakery teams use unsold fruits - to 110 stores nationwide. The retailer has confirmed that the range has been extended to include a choc chip flavour.

“While we’re pleased with the success of the in-store trial, we’re determined to help shoppers reduce the number of bananas going to waste at home too,” Sainsbury’s head of sustainability Paul Crewe said.

“61% of Britons admit they never use otherwise discarded bananas in baking, so to inspire customers to use their fruit in different ways, we’ve created an area in-store dedicated to get Britain baking with bananas! There’s no need to bin the bruised ones anymore.”

Crewe explained that, to help reduce household food waste, Sainsbury’s has launched pop-up ‘banana rescue’ stations across more than 500 stores nationwide.

“There, shoppers will find recipe inspiration - including our very own tried and tested recipe for home-made banana bread -  as well as everything they need to help make their own loaves, including mixing bowls, blenders, baking tins and storage solutions," he said.

Waste Less, Save More

UK household food waste has risen by 0.3 million tonnes in three years to 7.3 million tonnes, just under half of the total amount of food thrown away each year. To help tackle the issue, Sainsbury's announced a £1m fund for the second phase of its Waste Less, Save More scheme in November, with the number of town and city applications rising to almost 150 in recent months.

Sainsbury’s began its £10m Waste Less, Save More project with an initial pilot scheme in the Derbyshire town of Swadlincote. The programme tested new waste-saving ideas and technology, which Sainsbury’s said could cut the town’s waste by up to 50%, saving the average family £350 a year on food bills alone. The retailer has also scrapped multi-buy promotions across its food retail outlets, and replaced those offers with a lower price structure.

edie recently investigated consumer engagement on food waste, one of the biggest challenges facing Britain's circular economy transition.

George Ogleby


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