Sainsbury’s seeks test town to help launch £10 million project to tackle food waste

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Sainsbury’s is launching a £10 million project to tackle household food waste with a bold five year plan that could transform communities across the UK.

  • Committing £10 million over five years to tackle household food waste and more
  • Will spend £1 million transforming one UK town as a test bed for innovation in 2016
  • Will develop and share findings with other communities in subsequent years

The ambitious Waste less, Save more initiative launches today with a search for one UK town to benefit from £1 million investment and become the test bed for innovation to discover which initiatives are most effective in reducing household food waste.

Findings and recommendations from this trial phase in year one will be developed into a blueprint and made public in subsequent years so that communities across the country can benefit from the results. 

Sainsbury’s will then focus on supporting the changes that need to be made to make a long-term difference and measuring the impact of the activity, with the final phases of the project continuing to roll out change and explore opportunities to reduce other forms of waste.

Household food waste is an escalating issue which sees 7 million tonnes of food and drink wasted annually, with the average family throwing away £700 of food per year*. This is just under half of the 15 million tonnes of food wasted in the UK.

Sainsbury’s CEO Mike Coupe, said: “We know that waste – and particularly food waste – is a big challenge for households across the UK and it’s something our customers really care about. Investing significantly in this area clearly demonstrates the scale of our ambition over the next five years and shows just how committed we are to helping our customers make a real difference in this area. We’re confident that the project, which will start with trialling and testing in one UK town, will result in positive change for many more.”

Environment Minister Rory Stewart said: “Everyone has a role to play in reducing food waste and I congratulate Sainsbury’s for looking at innovative solutions to address this nationwide problem. Waste less, Save more is bringing together a major retailer and communities to generate new ideas to tackle this issue. I looking forward to seeing the successes from this scheme.”

Dr Richard Swannell, Director Sustainable Food Systems WRAP, added: "This is a great initiative by Sainsbury’s to help people reduce food waste at home. We know through our Love Food Hate Waste and Courtauld Commitment work that innovation and collaboration can significantly help reduce waste, delivering much needed cost and environmental savings. We look forward to working closely with Sainsbury’s throughout the project to share our experience and expertise to make a real difference locally and nationally.”

Sainsbury’s is looking for a tria lUK town, city or borough that has a population of between 15,000 and 300,000 and has a Sainsbury’s store within a five mile radius. The town must also demonstrate a strong sense of community and be keen and willing to work together to tackle food waste. Sainsbury’s will work together with the town to devise a year-long investment plan, that might include:

  • Fridge innovations for the home to track when food is beginning to go off
  • Talking bins that give tips as rubbish is put in them
  • Reward programmes to encourage recycling
  • New packaging to keep products fresher for longer
  • Educational programmes for local schools and community centres

Individuals or community groups that would like to nominate their town to work with Sainsbury’s and benefit from £1 million investment as part of its Waste less, Save more project can find out more at www.j-sainsbury.co.uk/wasteless The winning town will be announced on 1 December 2015.

* Household food and drink waste in the UK 2012

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About the article

  • Posted on: 21 September 2015
  • Type of article: Press release

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