Sainsbury's denies it has dropped consumer food waste target
Sainsbury's has refuted claims made in the Guardian that the retailer has dropped its ambitious target to halve its UK consumers' household food waste in five years.
The Guardian reported yesterday (8 March) that the goal set in Sainsbury’s Waste Less, Save More programme had been abandoned due to difficulties in creating behaviour change. But the retailer has since described the article as “entirely inaccurate” and insists it remains “absolutely committed to helping our customers save money through food waste.”
Sainsbury’s began its £10m 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.
Yesterday the supermarket admitted that the target was “always a very stretching ambition”. “What we now know, is that the town of Swadlincote has been fantastic to work with, and we have achieved a huge amount in the first year of the campaign,” a statement read. The results of the project will be announced in May once a full analysis is complete.
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 weeks.
Speaking at the time, Sainsbury’s director of corporate affairs Louise Evans said: “Our next stage is to take what we’ve learned from those interventions and put them into another 150 discovery towns. In essence, they all entered to win the project initially… really high entries. The idea is to test the really good ones and see if you get scale. So therefore the councils scale it, and if you can scale it to 150 you can scale it nationally."
Applicants are encouraged to apply for the scheme, which provides businesses and homes with advice for cutting down on food waste.
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