Green Commerce Blog
Sainsbury's changes food freezing advice in bid to cut food waste
Supermarket issues new guidance as part of a national initiative to change consumer attitudes to freezing food
Brand new labelling on food products being rolled out in all Sainsbury's stores will instead advise customers to freeze food as soon as possible up to the product's 'use by' date.
The initiative is backed by the government's waste advisory body, the Waste and Resources Action Programme (Wrap), whose research shows that 60% of consumers believe food must be frozen on the day of purchase. Wrap estimates that changing the standard advice on all food products could help stop over-cautious shoppers from throwing away as much as 800,000 tonnes – £2bn – of perfectly good food every year.
Research from Sainsbury's shows that 62% of the UK regularly uses the freezer to lengthen the life of food. In a separate study by Wrap, only 21% of people interviewed had frozen food that was nearing its use by date. For this reason, it is hoped that the new labelling, which has been drawn up in consultation with Wrap, will help to change consumer behaviour.
Wrap figures show that UK households waste around 7.2m tonnes of food and drink every year, most of which could have been eaten. This is estimated to costs families up to £50 a month.
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