UK – Multinational discount supermarket chain, Aldi has announced its plans to replace ‘use by’ dates with ‘best before’ dates from its fresh milk SKUs, excluding filtered milk, across its stores in England and Wales as it seeks to prevent food waste.
According to Aldi, this change will gradually be implemented across all the Aldi stores in England and Wales by the end of the current year.
The effort is expected to minimize the wastage of milk, preventing it from being thrown away ‘unnecessarily’ and therefore cutting down overall food wastage.
Aldi argues if milk is stored properly and has no unpleasant or unusual smell, it is safe to be used past its ‘Best Before’ date.
According to waste reduction charity WRAP, nearly 300,000 tonnes of milk is wasted by UK households each year, with half of the households stating that the reason for pouring it away is due to it not being consumed by the Use By date.
The retailer said it will encourage its customers to check the milk’s quality by performing a ‘sniff test’ to determine whether it is fit for consumption.
Aldi UK’s sustainability director Liz Fox said: “We are constantly working to be a more sustainable retailer and we are dedicated to preventing food waste wherever we can, both in our stores and helping customers throw away less food at home.
“We hope shoppers embrace this change and [make sure to] look, smell, and taste their milk to see if it’s still fine to use, so together we can reduce the effect food waste has on the environment.”
The decision to remove Use By dates will further support the supermarket giant’s wider goal to cut down its generated food waste by 50% by 2030.
Aldi has already removed the Best Before dates from approximately 60 of its fresh fruit and vegetable products, which includes apples, pears, citrus fruits, potatoes, carrots, and onions.
Earlier this year, the chain decided to roll out clear caps for its milk bottles across 990 stores in the UK, replacing its hard-to-recycle colored bottle tops.
Aldi also teamed up with food waste prevention app Too Good To Go to offer ‘magic bag’ of food that is approaching the end of its shelf life for £3.30, with each bag containing groceries worth at least £10.
The move to reduce food waste came in the wake of supermarkets including Waitrose and M&S Food removing sell-by dates from their fresh fruit and veg in a bid to allow customers to trust their own judgment.
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