In a move to discourage food wastage, the House of Lords EU committee has said that supermarkets should no longer offer “buy one get one free” campaigns.
The committee chairwoman, Lady Scott of Needham Market said that food waste across the UK and EU was not only “morally repugnant”, but also has “serious economic and environmental implications”, The Guardian reports.
A report from the committee found that up to 15 million tonnes of food is dumped in the UK each year and at least 90 million tonnes is dumped across the EU. The report also said that the EU’s effort to reduce such wastage was “fragmented and untargeted”.
"There is… much that can be done domestically, and in particular by the big retailers, to reduce food waste,” said Scott. “We are urging the supermarkets to look again at offers such as 'buy one get one free', which can encourage excess consumption which leads to food waste.
“We also think supermarkets must work much more closely with their suppliers so as not to cancel pre-ordered food which has been grown, is perfectly edible and is then ploughed straight back into the field,” she said.
Scott said that the UK government should work with the private sector to limit wastage and encourage co-operation throughout the supply chain.
“They can also consider whether tax incentives might be used to encourage retailers to ensure unsold food that is still fit for human consumption is actually eaten by people, for example by working with food banks, rather than sent to compost or for energy recovery, or even landfill, as is often the case at present,” she said.
"We were shocked at the extent of food waste in the EU. Especially given the current economic challenges the EU faces, it is an absolutely shocking waste of resources. Some efforts are already being made, which is very positive, but much more can be done, and so we are calling on the EU, the government, businesses and consumers to make sure it is."