Reducing Food Waste: Sandwich Edition

When it comes to reducing food waste, one of the simplest yet effective ways to do so is by paying attention to what goes between your slices of bread. Yes, you guessed it right – we’re talking about sandwiches! Sandwiches are a staple of the British diet, from quick on-the-go lunches to gourmet  gastro-pub masterpieces. However, they can also be a source of significant food waste if not handled wisely.

In this blog post, we’ll explore some creative and sustainable ways to reduce food waste with the humble sandwich and glimpse how the UK is tackling this issue.

Food Waste in the UK: A Stark Reality

Before diving into the world of sandwiches, let’s first look at the bigger picture. In the UK, food waste is a pressing issue.

Popular UK Chains and BSA Members Leading the Way

Thankfully, some popular UK chains and British Sandwich & Food to Go Association (BSA) members are stepping up their game to address sandwich waste. Here are a few notable examples:

  1. M&S: Marks & Spencer, a long-standing member of the BSA, is dedicated to reducing food waste. They’ve adopted a “Plan A” approach focusing on sustainability. M&S donates surplus food to food banks and charities and has made significant progress in reducing food waste across its operations, including its sandwich offerings.
  2. Subway: Subway, another BSA member, has committed to reducing waste in its stores. It has implemented measures to minimise food waste, such as using bread heel ends to create croutons and ensuring that all food that can be donated to local charities is put to good use.
  3. Pret A Manger: This popular UK chain has been at the forefront of sustainability efforts. They introduced a “Too Good to Go” scheme, which allows customers to purchase unsold sandwiches at a reduced price near closing time, preventing these items from ending up in the bin. They also donate surplus food to charities, further reducing their food waste footprint.
  4. Tesco: The supermarket giant Tesco has committed to tackling food waste in a big way. They’ve established the “Community Food Connection” program in partnership with FareShare, which redistributes surplus food to charities and community groups. This initiative includes sandwiches and other perishable items.

Reducing food waste is a noble endeavour, and it can start with something as simple as making sandwiches. By planning your ingredients mindfully, repurposing leftovers, mastering the art of stale bread, and even trying your hand at composting, you can transform your sandwich-making routine into a sustainable and delicious experience.

Moreover, it’s heartening to see popular UK chains and BSA members taking steps to offset sandwich waste. Initiatives like donating surplus food to charities, offering discounted unsold items, and adopting sustainable practices reduce food waste and set examples for others to follow.

So, the next time you prepare a sandwich, remember that you’re not just crafting a tasty meal but also contributing to a greener, less wasteful world – one bite at a time. And when you visit your favourite sandwich shop, take a moment to appreciate their efforts to combat food waste, and perhaps even support their sustainable initiatives.

Together, we can make a substantial difference in reducing food waste in the UK.