Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/799/18173

From The Socialist newspaper, 19 February 2014

'Criminal' waste and 'legal' waste

Jane Smith

A lot of food is wasted in Britain. At farms, 'wonky' vegetables are rejected; at warehouses huge amounts of packaged foods are discarded because of split packets or minor blemishes.

At supermarkets food is thrown out after its sell-by date and at home most of us throw away some of the food we buy.

The report 'Global Food: Waste not, want not' suggests as much as half of the world's food is wasted.

Up to 30% of vegetables in the UK are not harvested because of their physical appearance. Half the food bought in Europe and the US is thrown away.

The big supermarkets are a key part in this wasteful process. Last October Tesco announced it would provide, with food redistribution charity FareShare, the equivalent of seven million meals a year.

FareShare distributes surplus food from retailers and manufacturers to vulnerable people such as homeless or unemployed people.

But this step shows how broken the system is. No properly managed system should produce that much waste - particularly when so many people are going hungry. It also only addresses waste at supermarket distribution warehouses.

Meanwhile people faced prosecution for diverting waste at the supermarket stage. Paul Day was charged recently under the 1824 Vagrancy Act for taking food from a skip behind an Iceland store in London.

The Crown Prosecution Service originally said: "We feel there is significant public interest in prosecuting these individuals" but later dropped all charges.

Redistribution

Disgusted by the sheer waste, I couldn't let perfectly good food go to landfill. With some others I regularly used to visit supermarket bins, coming home with bags full of food. Often we froze what we couldn't eat or redistributed it to people we knew needed it.

Some days there was so much food, we had to go back for second loads. One weekend we found a skip full of potatoes (around 1.5 tonnes).

Potatoes can, if stored correctly, last for months. But these were wrapped in plastic with a 'best before' date on the packaging so were thrown out.

To me, this waste is more criminal than anyone taking those potatoes from skips and eating them. All Paul Day and his friends did was go into bins to try and eat, also reducing landfill.

Why were Paul and his friends thought worth prosecuting? Do we want a system that produces tonnes of waste but criminalises those who reduce that waste?

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 19 February 2014:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Floods chaos: End cuts now!

Floods reveal rottenness of government cuts

High rents + low wages - End this housing misery

Scotland: 'Project Fear' goes into overdrive

Affordable childcare? And where are the jobs?

Barclay's bonuses - laughing all the way to the bank

Them & Us


International socialist news and analysis

Bosnia: mass protests show potential of working class


Socialist Party workplace news

Doncaster care workers vote for seven-day strike

Care worker action escalates in Glasgow

Runcorn: Workers' solidarity scores victory

Newham primary school strike over new pay scheme

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Time to strike the bedroom tax a killer blow

Service users "terrified" by cuts in Worcester

Kent: Marching to save children's centres

Anti-cuts councillor exposes devastating cuts plans

Councils pass on Tory pain

Medway council will "rue the day" they attacked library

Fast Food Rights day of action

Stop the deportation of Jermaine Strachen

Socialist Party conferences prepare for year ahead


The Socialist readers' comments

Working nights is bad for your health

Cuts make the job impossible

Cycling deaths must be stopped

'Criminal' waste and 'legal' waste

Campaign against "Lobbying Bill"


 

Home   |   The Socialist 19 February 2014   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Food:

triangleObesity epidemic: end food market anarchy

triangleFood processing workers vote for action against miserly bosses

triangleMagic money tree

triangleCity bosses' £40m bonuses as Number of food banks hits 2,000

triangleCorbyn would limit TV junk food ads

Waste:

triangleBin workers - fighting back wins!

triangleNHS: fight for funding - not passport checks

triangleBin workers strike against draconian management

triangle£46m spent on suspending public sector workers

Supermarket:

triangleWhat would a socialist food industry look like?

triangleThe Socialist Inbox

triangleWorkplace news in brief

Landfill:

triangleFood waste - the logic of capitalism

Reviews and comments

Reviews and comments

18/10/17

Port Talbot

Powerful picture of the Port Talbot steel workers' struggle

18/10/17

Russian revolution

October 1917 reviews: 'More bright than any heaven'

11/10/17

Theresa May

Theresa May, Frida Kahlo and turning women into wares

11/10/17

Docks

Poverty, repression and fightback on the docks

11/10/17

The Socialist

The Socialist Inbox

11/10/17

TV

Shocking insight into Isis

2/10/17

Sexism

Hugh Hefner's exploitation of women

27/9/17

Football

Women's football - Sampson allegations

20/9/17

Letters

The Socialist Inbox

20/9/17

Socialist

Interview: the "socialist John Le Carré"

20/9/17

Women

Refreshing, anticapitalist - but little pointing a way forward

13/9/17

Women

New documentary asks women how their bodies are sexualised and policed

13/9/17

Letters

The Socialist inbox

13/9/17

Che Guevara

Intimate insight into a revolutionary icon

6/9/17

Pensions

Bosses' pensions robbery

triangleMore Reviews and comments articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle19 Oct Arriva North West bus drivers strike over pay

triangle18 Oct Russia, October 1917: When workers took power

triangle18 Oct Tories torn - bin them now

triangle18 Oct Royal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers

triangle18 Oct Balloting members on the pay cap

triangle13 Oct The end of the Tories?

triangle11 Oct Nasty party imploding...drive out the Tories

More ...

triangle23 Oct Chesterfield Socialist Party: The continuing struggle for abortion rights

triangle24 Oct Liverpool Socialist Party: The October Russian Revolution 100 years ago to the day

triangle25 Oct Salford Socialist Party: The October 1917 Russian revolution

triangle25 Oct Swansea Socialist Party: Mother Jones - A US labour pioneer

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2