New date labelling guidance welcomed in Scotland

Read our comments on the new voluntary guidelines for clearer date labelling on food packaging.

15 Sep 11

Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead said:

“The Scottish Government welcomes this new guidance, which strikes a balance between preventing avoidable food waste and protecting public health.

“For too long perfectly good food has been simply thrown out. This is hugely wasteful, environmentally unfriendly and costly for both businesses and their customers – each household throws out around £430 of food each year. This is a behaviour the Scottish Government is committed to changing. Earlier this week I announced a £1.3million grant to Edinburgh City Council to develop their household food waste recycling collections.

“This guidance supports our own ambitious targets to reduce avoidable food waste from both retailers and households.”

Betsy Reed, Head of Campaigns for Zero Waste Scotland, said:

“At least £18million of food is thrown out ‘in date’ in Scotland every year.  Clearer date labelling on food packaging is a simple step which could save perfectly good food going to waste and save Scottish families money.  The average Scottish family of four throws out up to £430 of food each year. 

“Reducing food waste is about making the most of the food we buy, and better date labelling makes it clear when food is still safe to eat so consumers can be more confident in how they deal with food.

“Our Love Food Hate Waste campaign provides a host of practical tips to help people master perfect portioning, storage advice, and recipes to help avoid wasting food. 

“Some food waste, like chicken bones or banana skins, is unavoidable, and recycling is the next best option.  A £1.3million grant was awarded to Edinburgh City Council earlier this week to develop their household food waste recycling collections.  Zero Waste Scotland is working with the Scottish Government and many local authorities to roll out food waste recycling collections across the country.” 

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