Mixed response to new food waste proposals

A recent report published on food waste in England set out a number of proposals made by the House of Commons’ Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee.

One recommendation which was positively received was that the incoming Government should require food businesses and retailers to separate food waste.

The proposal is via a phased approach, applying first to businesses that produce more than 50kg of food waste per week, then applying to smaller food businesses that produce between 5kg and 50kg of food waste per week.

When it came to a proposal for a mandatory requirement for businesses to separate food waste, Thérèse Coffey, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Environment and Rural Life Opportunities, said that she would be watching the impact of similar legislation in Scotland which was introduced in 2012. There is no guarantee that this change will be implemented in England, although in the event that it is, the impact for businesses is likely to be financial and also pose administrative and practical challenges.

Amongst the proposals rejected by the Minister, were

  • A recommendation for a national food waste target, with this target to be ambitious to ensure continued focus on reducing food waste.
  • A recommendation that food businesses over a certain size are required to publicly report data on food waste to create much more transparency.
  • Household food waste Tax relief on redistribution of surplus food
  • Next steps

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