WHAT A WASTE! According to recent figures, Britons bin almost 1,500,000 bananas that are perfectly edible EVERY DAY!
Over the course of a year, a UK Government study estimates that amounts to over £80m, and many of them are binned simply because of a black mark or slight bruising.
Taking the lead is Sainsbury’s who are trying to encourage customers to use fruit that is past its best in recipes such as banana bread, banoffee pie or muffins.
A third of those questioned (30%) admitted to discarding a banana if it has even a minor bruise or black mark on the skin. More than one in 10 (13%) also throw the fruit away if it shows any green on the skin.
The figures, from the government’s waste advisory body Wrap, were published by major supermarket chain Sainsbury’s to highlight the scale of avoidable food waste generated in the UK.
Throughout its £10m five-year Waste Less, Save More national initiative, the supermarket is offering practical tips and ideas to help customers reduce their food waste. Official statistics show that the average UK family throws away an incredible amount of £700 worth of food each year.
Sainsbury’s is launching hundreds of pop-up “banana rescue” features across its stores to encourage consumers to use fruit that is overripe or past its best. Damaged fruit can also be whizzed up in smoothies, chopped into fruit salads and dried as banana chips. Sainsbury’s is extending an in-store banana bread trial – which sees unsold fruits used by the in-store bakery teams – to 110 stores nationwide after trials in seven stores last year.
“While we’re pleased with the success of the in-store trial, we’re determined to help shoppers reduce the number of bananas going to waste at home too,” said Paul Crewe, the supermarket’s head of sustainability and environment. “Sixty one per cent of Britons admit they never use otherwise discarded bananas in baking, so we want to inspire customers to use their fruit in different ways. There’s no need to bin the bruised ones anymore.”
In recent years, supermarkets have been heavily criticised for not doing more to reduce food waste within their supply chains, and as a result many have signed up to help local food banks.