Environment

Britain bins 1.4 million edible bananas every day

New figures reveal the extent of appalling food waste across Britain, as Sainsbury's launches "waste less" scheme

How bruised does your banana have to be before you chuck it out?

New government agency figures indicate we are an extremely picky nation – around 1.4 million bananas are thrown away every single day, according to the Wrap advisory body.

Around 30 per cent people admitting binning bananas even if they have only a minor bruise. Being a little more “mindful” with the fruit we buy is just one of the ways the agency hopes to encourage less food waste. According to Wrap, the average family throws out £700 of food each year.

The quest for a perfectly a-peeling banana is resulting in waste that could be avoided

Sainsbury’s have now launched banana “rescue” stations as part of its own “Waste less, Save move” initiative, giving out recipes for banana bread, muffins, chips and smoothies.

Paul Crewe, head of sustainability, suggested customers were being too fussy with the fruit, saying “the quest for a perfectly a-peeling banana is resulting in waste that could be avoided…There’s no need to bin the bruised ones any more.”

Sainsbury’s also announced it is extending its in-store scheme which sees bakery staff make banana bread with unsold fruits to 110 branches.

The big British supermarkets have, nevertheless, faced a great deal of criticism from sustainability campaigners for the vast amounts they throw away each day. In France, all supermarkets over 400 square metres must sign a food donation contract with a charity.

The Banque Alimentaire charity network, something akin to the UK’s Trussell Trust, receives food classified as “no longer marketable” from around some 2,000 stores across the country.

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