The expiration date of 300 varieties of fruit and vegetables is over: this was decided by one of the largest supermarket chains in the United Kingdom, Marks & Spencer, determined to reduce food waste. From this week the customers themselves will evaluate whether the products are still good to eat (Tesco, the largest national chain, has abolished the expiration date from its fruit and vegetables as early as 2018). A measure that affects 85% of the supermarket’s fresh products.
In the end, the expiration date proved to be a counterproductive tool, capable of fueling the waste of food that is still perfectly edible. Marks & Spencer aims to halve waste by 2030 compared to 2018 and to redistribute 100% of edible food surpluses by 2025. Achieving these goals would bring it into line with the UN goal of halving food waste by 2030 compared to 2007.
In the UK, the most wasted foods are potatoes, bread and milk (the data is from Wrap, an organization that fights food waste). Marks & Spencer will also give customers the option to buy three bananas at a time, rather than a bulkier bunch, to reduce the waste of another product that often ends up in the trash.
According to Andrew Clappen, director of food technology at Marks & Spencer, the supermarket must “do everything it can” to reduce the amount of waste. “To do that, we have to be innovative and ambitious,” he explained to Guardian. «Remove expiration dates where possible do it, try new ways to sell our products and stimulate our customers to get creative with leftovers and to embrace change “.
The anti-waste organization Wrap estimates that up to 45% of global greenhouse gas emissions can be addressed by changing the way we produce and consume products and food. Removing the expiration date on fresh fruit and vegetables, according to the organization’s calculations, can save the equivalent of 7 million boxes of food per year.
Source: Vanity Fair