// Supermarkets could face government penalties if food waste continues
// Michael Gove MP spoke at the Step Up to the Plate event in London yesterday
// Gove urged supermarkets to pledge halving food waste by 2030 or risk facing government fines
The UK’s supermarkets have been warned of penalties from the government as food waste levels continue to rise.
Environment Secretary Michael Gove spoke at the Step Up to the Plate event in London yesterday and urged supermarkets to pledge halving food waste by 2030 or risk facing government fines.
Gove said the UK’s food waste level was an “environmental, economic and moral scandal”.
Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose are among 300 businesses to have already pledged to halving their food waste by 2030.
The UK currently wastes 10.2 million tonnes of food a year, costing around £15 billion or the equivalent of £500 per household, according to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
The initiative means those companies that sign the pledge will be able to apply for funding from a £6 million scheme, which will aid in sustainability measures to cut back on food waste.
“We have announced £5m in additional money in order to ensure we can help companies who want to ensure the very poorest in our society get that food,” Gove said.
“That is an incentive, but if necessary, in the future, then perhaps penalties might be required as well.”