Supermarket chiefs have asked Brits to nominate their town for a £1million food waste project.
The initiative is part of a £10million investment which will give the winning town access to state-of-the-art technology such as talking bins and ‘self-monitoring’ fridges.
Lessons learned from the pilot scheme will then form the blueprint for a £10million five-year national investment by Sainsbury’s.
The supermarket has launched the Waste Less Save More town challenge as a solution to the £700-a-year bill run up by the average UK family in uneaten produce.
They’re calling on local communities to nominate their town for a £1million investment which will be used to find the best ways to reduce food waste.
The supermarket will partner with the successful town to test out innovative ideas and initiatives that, in the long term, could benefit everyone.
The final ideas will be taken from around the globe but could include:
- Fridge innovations for the home to track when food is beginning to go off e.g. smart fridges which remind users that they don’t have to buy certain items because they already have supplies, issue ‘peak freshness’ alerts and warn when food is about to go off
- Talking bins that give tips as rubbish is put in them
- Reward programmes to encourage recycling
- New packaging to keep products fresher for longer
- Educational programmes for local schools and community centres.
Sainsbury’s will also work with the local authority and key community groups within the successful town to crowd-source new suggestions on how food waste could be reduced.
Sainsbury’s CEO Mike Coupe said: “We know that waste – and particularly food waste– is a big challenge for households across the UK and it’s something our customers really care about.
“Investing significantly in this area clearly demonstrates the scale of our ambition over the next five years and shows just how committed we are to helping our customers make a real difference in this area.
“We’re confident that the project, which will start with trialling and testing in one UK town, will result in positive change for many more.”
Dr Richard Swannell, Director Sustainable Food Systems WRAP, added: “This is a great initiative by Sainsbury’s to help people reduce food waste at home.
“We know through our Love Food Hate Waste and Courtauld Commitment work that innovation and collaboration can significantly help reduce waste, delivering much needed cost and environmental savings.
“We look forward to working closely with Sainsbury’s throughout the project to share our experience and expertise to make a real difference locally and nationally.”
Sainsbury’s is looking for a trial town that has a population of between 15,000 and 300,000 and has a Sainsbury’s store within a five mile radius. The town must also demonstrate a strong sense of community and be keen and willing to work together to tackle food waste.
The closing date for applications is 23.59hrs on Friday 30 October 2015 and the winner will be notified by 1 December 2015.
Individuals or community groups that would like to nominate their town to work with Sainsbury’s and benefit from £1 million investment as part of its Waste Less, Save More project can find out more at www.j-sainsbury.co.uk/wasteless.