What do kids make of supermarket progress in addressing food waste?

By Bethan Grylls

- Last updated on GMT

Are supermarkets doing enough to address food waste? Children 5+ cast their votes...Credit: Getty / Roman Mykhalchuk
Are supermarkets doing enough to address food waste? Children 5+ cast their votes...Credit: Getty / Roman Mykhalchuk

Related tags Food waste Sustainability Supermarkets Greenhouse gas

In an illuminating poll, conducted by The Felix Project and VotesforSchools of primary, secondary and college aged students, reveal their feelings around supermarkets and food waste.

Eight out of 10 children, aged 11 and over, believe supermarkets are not doing enough to tackle the issue of food waste.

This research comes from a poll carried out by The Felix Project, a redistribution charity, and VotesforSchools, which offers students around the UK from the age of five a chance to vote on important political topics,

More than 30,200 votes were received (10,721 aged 5-11 and 19,523 aged 11-18+) which gave way to some interesting insights.

Secondary and college voters all considered: ‘Are UK supermarkets doing enough to tackle food waste?’, while primary 7-11 voters discussed: ‘Do supermarkets need to do more to tackle food waste?’ and primary 5-7 voters debated: ‘Are supermarkets helping us to throw away less food?’

The findings uncovered​ that the majority of secondary, college students and older primary school students believed more needed to be done, whilst the youngest voters (5-7) showed a more sympathetic view.

Of the primary school children aged 7-11, 77% voted that supermarkets needed to do more to tackle food waste. Eighty percent of secondary school children and 81% of those 16 and over agreed, voting that supermarkets were not doing enough to address this issue.

Among the feedback that the polls gleaned, students were also asked to offer their thoughts behind their votes, with one pointing out it’s not just the responsibility of supermarkets. “We as consumers also need to do our part.”

Another within the 5-7 category suggested supermarkets sell more frozen food to help with preservation, retail food two days before their use-by at a marked down price and remove all best before dates. Whilst another said that while “supermarkets are doing their bit, it is now up to restaurants and cafes and us to do more”​.

Every year the UK throws away around 9.5 million tons of food, 6.6 million tons of which is generated by people at home. The Felix Project saves food from ending up in the bin and redistributes to around 1,000 charities and schools who support those experiencing food insecurity in London. To help children understand more about food waste charity has developed Felix’s Food Fight.

This comprises a series of lesson plans for teachers​ for upper Key Stage 2 students and include a breakdown of lesson content, intention and success criteria, national curriculum links and differentiation models to ensure children of all capabilities can understand the subject.

This news also comes at the same time, as results from the latest annual European Investment Bank (EIB) Climate Survey​ reveals that three quarters (73%) of young respondents in the UK say the climate impact of prospective employers is an important factor when job hunting, whilst 58% of all respondents say they would pay more for climate-friendly food.

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