Morrisons, the UK retailer, has launched a campaign to encourage consumers to waste less food and to highlight the impact discarded food has on the environment.

The UK’s fourth-largest grocer has unveiled a “Great Taste, Less Waste” campaign that it claims will help save families up to GBP600 (US$909) a year.

Chief executive Marc Bolland said: “The best thing that customers can do is to eat the food they buy – it’s good for their wallet and good for the environment.”

The initiative will include tips for consumers on where to best to store their food with the addition of “Best Kept” labels on produce.

Questions have been asked on Morrisons’ use of plastic packaging on selected produce lines but the retailer insisted using plastic helps to reduce food waste.

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The company flagged a “Packaging laboratory: Keep it Fresh test” that looks to determine which produce needs protecting with packaging.

“Morrisons customers can therefore always trust that packaging is only ever there to add freshness and value, and not as an unnecessary environmental burden.”

A spokesman for Morrisons told just-food today (14 May) that the retailer “does a hell of a lot on packaging”, pointing to a commitment to a 15% reduction in packaging by next year.

However, he added: “Packaging waste is important – just not as important as food waste.”

According to Morrisons, the UK generates over 12m tonnes of food waste a year – compared to 10.7m tonnes of packaging.