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Supermarkets Throwing Away 2 Million Tons Of Food A Year

July 22, 2008
We visited a dozen stores over several nights last week to check what was being thrown away and discovered hundreds of pounds worth of food dumped.

At a Sainsbury’s superstore next to the Dome in Greenwich, South East London – the chain’s flagship “environmentally-friendly” shop with its own wind turbines – staff said it was standard practice to throw away food before its sell-by date. And they’re not even allowed to take it home.

One said: “Someone just stands there and throws it into the skip. We wish we could buy it – but we’re not allowed.”

Pointing to meat on the “reduced” shelf, he added: “Come midnight, anything that hasn’t been sold will get taken off the shelf… if it’s out of date it will be logged on the computer, put against our losses, then in the skip.”

Four-pint bottles of milk with nine days still to run had been thrown out, along with nine cans of cola with a date stamp of April 2009.

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A Sunday Mirror investigation has found major chains dump enough food to feed 6.3million people a year.

And our check of supermarket bins found that much of the grub they chuck out is not even past its sell-by date.

This week Prime Minister Gordon Brown urged families to be more frugal and not waste their food – but our survey shows how stores are the real villains.

Waste... Tesco in Birmingham
Last night Friends of the Earth called for tougher measures from the Government to force supermarkets to clean up their act.
“The true cost of this waste is passed on to customers in prices and the environment in landfill, while the supermarkets’ profits continue to soar.”
According to a report by the Sustainable Development Commission, supermarkets throw away 1.6million tons of food annually.
Workers told our reporters there were simply not enough staff to reduce the prices, so it was sent to landfill, often still wrapped in plastic – which will stop it rotting and take decades to decompose.
One Comment leave one →
  1. tom permalink
    January 4, 2009 7:19 am

    this is soooo wrong!!!!!!

    these corporations are nothing but greed machines

    I see this every day where i work and it makes me sick!!!

    they should not be allowed to write off throwing it out

    only if they donate it

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