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Encouraging consumers to consider their food and plastic waste

Combatting food waste, one wonky fruit at a time. UK supermarket giant, Morrisons, has implemented a number of changes in a bit to cut down on waste.

In our insights post from 2 July 2018, we discussed Morrisons focus on wonky fruit, and how one of the UK's biggest supermarkets is working towards a more sustainable future.

You can read that insights piece here.

Following from their changes, Morrisons will now no longer sell cucumbers in plastic sleeves as part of their commitment to cutting plastic waste.

Removing cucumber wraps will stop 16million of them being used every year - however the shelf life of cucumbers will be reduced as a result. 

The supermarket is also encouraging customers to bring their own containers to use at their butcher and fishmonger counters, and incentivising customers with 100 loyalty points for each visit with a container. 

It doesn't stop at food

Morrisons are also working to cut back on waste in other areas - flowers, in particular.

The supermarket is now selling flowers that haven't developed properly (most of which are caused by hot, dry weather) for £3 per bouquet instead of £5. 

Much like wonky vegetables, wonky flowers are more affordable, and only slightly aesthetically different to their full value counterparts.
The wonky range helps farmers and growers reduce waste while also providing a more affordable product range for customers.

Changing consumer expectations

According to a study by the University of Edinburgh, more than a third of farmed fruit and vegetables are discarded before they reach supermarkets - equating to over 50million tonnes!

This waste is due to consumer expectations of what produce should look like - size, shape, and colour - as well as supermarket standards and government regulations. It means many farmers will grow more food than they need to supply to allow for the expected wastage.

Stephen Porter, of the University of Edinburgh's School of GeoSciences, said: 'Encouraging people to be less picky about how their fruit and vegetables look could go a long way to cutting waste, reducing the impact of food production on the climate, and easing the food supply chain.'

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Morrisons incentivise their customers to bring in their own containers for their butcher and fishmonger counters with 100 loyalty points.
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