UK

Morrisons Pledges To Donate Unwanted Food To Charity

01/11/2015 13:09 GMT | Updated 01/11/2015 13:59 GMT

Morrisons has announced it will donate all of its unwanted food to charity rather than throw it in the bin.

The supermarket will become the first in the country to do so and follows a large public outcry over the amount of food wasted in the UK.

morrisons supermarket

Each branch could provide four trolley-loads of foods a week

The scheme has already been successfully trialled in 112 stores in Yorkshire and the North-East.

Stephen Butts, head of corporate responsibility for Morrisons, said: "The challenge is finding the right community partners to work with. What we have available will vary.

"Ideally we are looking for groups that can cook the food, meaning they can blend it [with food from other sources].

One member of staff from which branch will be tasked with liaising with local groups to decide where the food goes.

It is estimated that 15 million tonnes of food costing £5 billion are wasted each year in the UK.

In May of this year an online petition urging MPs to make supermarkets donate unwanted items to charity garnered 100,000 signatures.

It was started by Lizzie Swarf who said at the time: "Rather than wasting millions of pounds worth of food that is still usable, make supermarkets donate their leftover products that are still safe to eat, to food banks."

The UK lags behind European counterparts such as France who this year passed legislation making it illegal for supermarkets to throw away edible food.

A series of new laws forbids supermarkets with a floor area of more than 400 square meters from chucking away food that's past its sell-by date or doesn't meet requirements in other ways.

As in Britain, food that can no longer be sold on French supermarket shelves is often destroyed by pouring chemicals on it - destroying food that could help hungry people - but this is now banned.

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