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End 'best before' dates and save 'wonky veg' from being binned, MP urges in new food waste debate

Government and supermarkets must do more to prevent food waste as report reveals more than £10 billion of produce is binned annually in the UK

Food waste scandal report calls on government to end best-before labels on food(Image: Daily Mirror)

The food waste scandal needs to be confronted which could see the end of best before labels on packaging, according to a report published today (Sunday April 30).

In a bid to combat the issue, the Environment Food and Rural Affairs Committee, has said the government and supermarkets must play their part in reducing food waste.

Neil Parish MP, committee chair, said more than £10 billion of food is thrown away every year in the UK.

He added: “It is a scandal that people are going hungry and using food banks when so much produce is being wasted.

"And environmentally it’s a disaster, because energy and resources are wasted in production only for the food to end up rotting in landfills where it produces methane – a potent climate-changing gas."

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MPs have suggested food store giants follow Tesco by example and publish how much produce is binned as well as relax the rules for the sale of "wonky vegetables" and sell more split and resealable packets to help lower consumer food waste.

He added: "The Government needs to step in and force other major supermarkets to be transparent about food waste.

"It’s ridiculous that perfectly good vegetables are wasted simply because they’re a funny shape.

"It’s high time we saved them from the supermarket reject bins."

The committee has also called for a national food waste reduction target.

Members have urged the government to think about how lessons on food and waste can be made part of the school curriculum.

The report concludes that responsibility remains with local authorities to increase food waste collections and urges the government to step in to ensure waste and recycling pick up is consistent across the UK.

Mr Parish said the government should make it compulsory for food businesses and retailers over a particular size to separate food waste too.

He added: “A huge amount of surplus food is currently not being redistributed.”

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