New figures from the Government’s waste advisory body Wrap, published on Wednesday by Britain’s largest supermarket Tesco, found that that Britons throw away around 37,000 tonnes of salads from their homes every year – the equivalent of 178 million bags.
Shoppers do not always buy bagged salads with a meal in mind which can lead to them being forgotten, according to Tesco’s research.
Current packaging also means bags are not strong enough to protect the leaves and do not seal so salads tend to spill out in the fridge, leading to waste.
The research comes as Tesco this week starts selling resealable salad bags in a bid to encourage and help shoppers to reduce food waste.
The new packaging, made from a thicker film than usual, will have a sliding zip lock, similar to the ones used for family-sized cheese portions, to keep the salad from spilling out once open.
“Over the last two years we’ve been working with our growers to develop new packaging which allows customers to return to their bags of salad over a number of days with very little hassle or fuss,” said Adam Hill, a produce buyer manager at Tesco.
“We know many shoppers roll up their bagged salads after using them once and stick them at the back of their fridges where they are forgotten for days or even weeks,” he added.
The new packaging is part of Tesco’s “No Time For Food Waste” campaign. Its launch was welcomed by Wrap.
“We commend Tesco for introducing a new resealable packaging format,” said Wrap’s business programmes director Steve Creed.
“At present, nearly 40 per cent of lettuce and leafy salads bought by householders end up being thrown away.”
Earlier this month figures from Wrap also found that British households throw away 1.4 million bananas that are perfectly good to eat every day at cost of £80m a year.
In April, MPs urged supermarkets to sell “wonky veg” as part of their main fruit and vegetable lines to help reduce food waste.
Knobbly carrots and parsnips do not taste or cook any differently from other vegetables and should be saved from supermarket reject bins, Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee chairman Neil Parish said.
From this month until the end of the summer, Morrisons will start selling deformed avocados at a third of the average cost of normally-shaped ones.
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