The Co-op has written to local authorities in England asking them to ‘speed up’ the rollout of food waste collections from households which they believe would save 1,000 tonnes a day of food waste from ending up in landfill.
The government announced weekly household food waste collections by 2023 as part of its Waste and Recycling Strategy but currently less than half (48%) of councils currently offer the service.
The Co-op says if all councils offered it then twice as much of the total food wasted in the UK a year could be recycled into energy and fertiliser.
And of the 169 local authorities that do already collect food waste, 12% per cent do not accept compostable bags, with the supermarket chain writing to these 20 local authorities asking them to change their position.
Michael Fletcher, Chief Commerical Officer at Co-op said: ‘How we do business really matters. The world is experiencing a climate crisis and we need to work together to avoid it.
‘Accelerating action is the only way to mitigate and reduce impacts on our natural world, and to ensure stable food supply chains in the future.
‘We are committed to helping our members and customers to make environmentally friendly choices and reducing the environmental impact of products is and always has been at the core of Co-op.
‘That’s why we are writing to local authorities to encourage universal kerbside food waste collections and acceptance of compostable bags, sooner than 2023.’
In January, the government appointed philanthropist Ben Elliot as its new food surplus and waste champion to help cut the amount of food being sent to landfill.
He called food waste ‘morally deplorable and largely avoidable.’