Skip to main content

How extending product life can combat food waste


Can a solution to our mounting food waste problem be as simple as boosting the product life of common foods by just one day? The U.K.-based Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) thinks so.

In its new report, Reducing Food Waste by Extending Product Life, the waste prevention group estimates simple and safe changes throughout the supply chain could prolong the life of foods consumers purchase and prevent about 250,000 tonnes of waste each year. The group also says that through these actions both consumers and businesses could reap huge financial savings.

The report sets out five recommendations, which WRAP says do not compromise product safety or quality in any way and do not require any changes to existing packaging or product formulations.

WRAP’s recommendations for retailers and manufacturers:

1. Retailers and manufacturers should challenge safety and quality buffers to try and identify opportunities to extend product life for the consumer.

2. A standardized approach to “open life” guidance (the time an item is deemed safe to eat or retains its optimum quality once opened) be used, and that open life is used only for food safety, not where quality is a limiting factor.

3. That supply chain practices such as stock rotation are reviewed with a view to increasing the available life of a food for consumers.

4. That delivery times to retailers are benchmarked with a view to improving performance.

5. That “Display-until dates be removed from all foods and that only “Use-by” or “Best before” dates are use.

Read more about WRAP’s report
Read more Operations & Logistics articles on Sustainability

This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds