Tesco – the U.K.'s largest retailer by sales – has admitted that it generated 28,500 tons of food waste in the first six months of this year, drawing attention to the huge amount of food thrown away by British supermarkets.
Some two-thirds of Tesco's bagged salads and just over half of its baked goods were wasted, according to the research, which was published on Monday by the supermarket and not-for-profit company Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP).
Tesco tracked 25 of its bestselling products from farms to consumers' homes as part of the study, which also revealed that 40 percent of apples were wasted, and a fifth of all bananas were thrown away.
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But the 28,500 tons of food waste generated at Tesco's stores and distribution centers is part of a much larger problem, according to WRAP, which estimates that 15 million tons of food and drink is wasted each year across the U.K.
On their own, families generate some 7.2 million tons of this waste each year, WRAP said, and about 4.4 tons of that is avoidable. Tesco estimates that amounts to some £700 per family per year being thrown out with the garbage.
"Food waste is a global issue and collaborative action is essential if we are to successfully reduce food waste and reap the financial and environmental benefits of doing so," Richard Swannell, director of WRAP, said.
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