Extending shelf life could save 250,000 tonnes of food

A NEW REPORT out from Waste Resource Action Programme (WRAP) reveals that an estimated 250,000 tonnes of food wasted every year could be saved if an extra day was added to its shelf life.

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In its report – Reducing food waste by extending product life – WRAP assessed the amount of product life available to consumers on shelf, and reviewed how product life codes such as ‘Use-by’ and ‘Best-before’ dates are currently set by retailers, brands and food manufacturers.


The study examined a range of popular foods where there are typically relatively high levels of waste. It estimates the potential overall tonnage and financial savings by scaling-up data from these products to all food groceries. WRAP’s findings give an indication of the significant potential benefits available to industry and consumers.


Dr. Richard Swannell, Director of Sustainable Food Systems at WRAP said, “The findings in our report are a real opportunity for industry. By implementing these simple recommendations, food manufacturers and retailers can make a big difference in the battle against food waste, without even having to change products and packaging. We estimate that shoppers could save upwards of £500m, and businesses could save £100m in waste prevention alone.


“We have a fantastic opportunity to take action here – we’ve identified the business case based on savings in the true cost of waste and the potential for increased sales from better availability. Today’s report is part of our continuing work to reduce food waste and we’re keen to work with industry on how best to act on this information.”