Asda rolls out plastic-free free food protection technology in bid to cut food waste

Good News Notes:

The supermarket is set to stock citrus fruits and avocados coated in the innovative material, produced by Apeel Sciences, in the coming weeks. The material is made using the proteins and cellulose found in fruit and vegetable seeds, peels and pulps, mixed with water.

 Apeel Sciences’ material is sprayed onto produce and acts as a barrier, keeping moisture in and oxygen out. This extends the shelf life of the produce without the need for packaging. Apeel Sciences states on its website that it only uses food-grade ingredients in the production of the innovative material, meaning it is safe to eat. It has been approved for produce in the US and by the European Commission.

Asda believes its partnership with Apeel Sciences marks the first time that fruit and vegetables coated in the material will be available commercially at this scale. The supermarket first trialled the innovation on clementines sold at two of its stores in 2019.

“We are always looking for ways to improve the shelf life of our products and make it easier for our customers to make more sustainable food choices whilst making their money go further,” said Asda’s senior director Dominic Edwards.

“We are really excited to be working with Apeel – bringing the great work they’ve been doing globally, to our UK customers. During this programme, we will be learning more about the benefits of longer-lasting produce for our customers, and we are looking forward to seeing what further developments this could lead to in the future.”

Asda has notably committed to removing three billion pieces of single-use plastic packaging from its own-brand products by 2025, against a 2018 baseline. This commitment ties in with a pledge to ensure all own-brand packaging is fully recyclable by 2025.

On food waste, Asda already has a zero-waste-to-landfill policy and its headline commitment is to at least halve food waste by 2030, also against a 2018 baseline. Many large businesses in the UK are working to halve food waste by 2030, in alignment with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 12.3….”

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