WRAP calls for supermarkets to sell more loose fruit and veg


food waste

A new report published by Love Food Hate Waste, as part of the fourth annual Food Waste Action Week, shows that 65% of shoppers would buy more loose fruit and veg if it were offered for sale.

WRAP’s research found 78% of UK consumers buy at least one fresh fruit and veg item loose. 44% said the biggest barrier to not buying loose fruit and vegetables was there was not enough loose fresh produce on offer. 74% of respondents said supermarkets should be doing more to sell fruit and veg without packaging.

Love Food Hate Waste is a campaign, launched by the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) in 2007, to reduce the amount of food waste in the UK. WRAP said if all apples, potatoes and bananas were sold loose and not packaged, this would prevent 60,000 tonnes of food waste.

WRAP also said buying loose fruit and veg could reduce plastic packaging by 8,800 tonnes per year and reduce over 80,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions.

Commenting on the research, Jackie Bailey, Senior Campaign Manager of Love Food Hate Waste, said: “We know that choosing what we will use will significantly cut the amount of food ending up in the bin – now is the time for retailers and shoppers to make that a reality.

“Increasing loose fruit and veg offerings in store will not only help slash waste, reduce hard-to-recycle plastics, and stop tens of thousands of tonnes of CO2e emissions, it will also respond to what shoppers would like to see. It’s a win-win situation.”

We know that choosing what we will use will significantly cut the amount of food ending up in the bin.

Last year, WRAP called for “urgent action” to tackle household food waste after publishing updated figures that showed food waste volumes rose between 2018 and 2021, despite declining since 2007.

The figures showed that household food waste is the largest source of food waste in the UK’s 10.7 million tonnes (Mt) total. They also showed that UK homes disposed of 76kg of food waste per person in 2021, which was 9kg per person heavier than in 2018 and similar to levels between 2010 and 2017.

As part of a campaign to reduce household food waste, Love Food Hate Waste is collaborating with celebrity chef Gino D’Acampo to encourage people to “choose what you’ll use” by only buying food they need.

Reacting to the research, Environment Minister Robbie Moore said: “I’m shocked that households are throwing away £1,000 a year in good food, as I’m sure many people will be too.

“That’s why I’m supporting this year’s Food Waste Action Week, which encourages us all to make a difference by sticking to buying only what we need in the fruit and veg aisles and making sure we use them up at home. We are committed to halving food waste by 2030 – which is why it’s so important to work together with the public and the food industry to take action on this critical issue.”

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