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Sainsbury's gets politicians to test app designed for tackling food waste

Published 02/12/2016

Sainsbury's is leading a home kitchen trial of an app designed to tackle food waste (Graham Flack/Sainsbury's/PA)
Sainsbury's is leading a home kitchen trial of an app designed to tackle food waste (Graham Flack/Sainsbury's/PA)

Sainsbury's is leading a home kitchen trial of a smart meter-style app designed to tackle food waste after it proved successful in commercial kitchens.

The supermarket has enlisted five politicians to test the Winnow app in their homes as part of its £10 million Waste Less, Save More programme to help reduce the seven million tonnes of food waste thrown away by UK households each year.

The app asks users to weigh the food they are throwing away, along with the reasons for doing so, such as spoiling, serving too much or burning it.

It then produces a report detailing the cost of the waste and how it could be cut.

Winnow has already proved successful in commercial kitchens and has been adapted for use in the home, by "gamifying" the process and highlighting the financial cost of throwing food out.

Initial results from a trial in six UK homes saw food waste fall by an average of 68% across the households, an average saving of £268 a year, Sainsbury's said.

Those taking part in the new four-week trial include Labour MP Mary Creagh, Northern Ireland Green Party leader Steven Agnew, Conservative MP Mark Pawsey, Scottish National Party MP Margaret Ferrier and Conservative MSP Maurice Golden.

Paul Crewe, head of sustainability, energy and engineering at Sainsbury's, said: "When it comes to food waste we're a nation in denial, frequently under-estimating what we throw away.

"Thankfully this trial can really hammer home the amount of food going in the bin, which is the first step to making a change.

"To have such high-profile names on board is testament not only to the importance of the issue, but also their commitment to reduce food waste. We're all excited to see the results."

Winnow chief executive Marc Zornes said: "Winnow has been hugely successful in cutting food waste in commercial kitchens and so we're excited to see the impact it will have in homes.

"In essence it works simply by reminding the user of the value of food waste, and making sure it's front of mind. Lots of people have commented that it's like a game, so we can see it being a hit with families too."

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