Stat of the day: £12bn

The amount of 'good' food that Britain throws away each year.

Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013

Ever been confused by the variety of ‘use by’-type dates on food packaging? Things are about to get a bit simpler. The ‘sell-by’ and ‘display until’ dates on food packaging are being scrapped to avoid confusion for shoppers, to be replaced by a simpler system of ‘use by’ and ‘best before’ dates. According to the Government, that will help cut the £12bn worth of ‘good’ food that’s thrown away in the UK each year.

And fair enough: according to the Waste and Resources Action Programme (Wrap), which advised the government on the move, 5.3m tonnes of still-edible food is thrown away each year, costing the average family £680 annually. Although the downside is that removing the ‘sell by’ date could also lead to fewer products in supermarkets’ bargain sections – which are competitive enough as it is…

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