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Shoppers in Oban have been encouraged to use a list to help reduce waste food going in the bin.
Supermarket giant Lidl have estimated that a quarter of residents in the town and across the Highlands and Islands shop without a list.
It means people are buying more food than they need – resulting in it being thrown away and contributing to Scotland’s toll of an estimated 60 million wasted meals every month, Lidl said.
The retailer, which has a premises on Soroba Road, has now partnered with ‘Love Food Hate Waste Scotland’ to reduce food waste and help Scots ‘shop smarter’.
The Great Taste, No Waste campaign offers people a month of weekly shopping lists and meal plans with seven days of meals for a family of four – all for just £40 per week.
In addition to weekly shopping lists, it also includes guidance on food storage and creative ways to use leftovers.
Ross Millar, Lidl’s regional director for Lidl in Scotland, said two thirds of Scots are shopping less often with more embracing a ‘weekly big shop’.
He said: ‘The Great Taste, No Waste initiative aims to show Scots how shopping with a list can reduce household food waste, help feed your family delicious meals, and still provide the Lidl promise of fantastic value for money.’
Iain Gulland, chief executive of Zero Waste Scotland, which delivers Love Food Hate Waste Scotland, said food waste is a ‘major contributor’ to climate change.
He said: ‘When we waste food, we waste all the resources and care that went into growing, transporting, packaging and cooking it. And, if wasted food ends up in landfill, it emits methane, a potent greenhouse gas that is many times more damaging than carbon dioxide. Preventing avoidable food waste could save the average Scottish household £437 per year, so there’s a real cost saving to be made.’
The project has been backed by Catriona Petit, service manager for local charity Hope Kitchen, serving Oban, Lorn and the Isles.
It has provided 120 food parcels a week across the area at the height of lockdown and relies on shoppers donating produce at supermarkets including Lidl, M&S and Tesco in Oban.
Ms Petit said Lidl worked with the charity by handing over food with short expiry dates.
She said: ‘Any initiative to enable people to shop more wisely and within budget has got to be a good thing. For people on lower incomes, it’s good not to waste food or money.’
The Great Taste, No Waste list and meal plan is available to download now from: www.lidl.co.uk/greattastenowaste
An example meal plan for a family of four for a week