Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://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:

triangle60% of wildlife wiped out - urgent action needed to save planet

triangleCaerphilly Socialist Party: How capitalism is poisoning our food

triangleBirmingham South East Socialist Party: How would food production change under socialism?

triangle4m children in homes that can't afford fruit and veg

triangleThem & Us

Waste:

triangleNo to Tory plans for radioactive waste under national parks

trianglePlastic waste - capitalism's Frankenstein monster

triangleSummer of discontent on the cards in Huddersfield bin workers' dispute

triangleFCC Environment strike solid

Supermarket:

triangleSolid strike at Tesco Dagenham distribution centre forces pay talks

triangleReject the mega-supermarket merger: nationalise to save jobs

triangleSainsbury's raise really a cut: fight for 10 with no strings!

Landfill:

triangleMay's "war on plastic" still puts profits before the planet

triangleComment: Socialism and truth about Zane

Reviews and comments

Reviews and comments

14/11/18

Letters

The Socialist inbox

14/11/18

Theatre

Theatre: The Last Seam - a lasting tribute to Mary Jackson

14/11/18

Jeremy Corbyn

Engaging book about Corbyn's rise doesn't provide answers on how to change Labour

7/11/18

Film

Nae Pasaran: a film about working-class solidarity

7/11/18

Letters

The Socialist inbox

31/10/18

Lucas Aerospace

'Lucas Plan' film tells story of workers who set out alternative to job losses

31/10/18

Letters

The Socialist inbox

24/10/18

Letters

The Socialist Inbox

17/10/18

Letters

The Socialist Inbox

10/10/18

Letters

The Socialist Inbox

10/10/18

Capitalism

The murky world of the 'Big Four' accountancy firms

3/10/18

Letters

The Socialist Inbox

3/10/18

Theatre

The Ragged-Trousered Philanthropists: one-man show's new take on lively socialist classic

26/9/18

Welfare state

Powerful defence of the welfare state

26/9/18

Letters

The Socialist inbox

triangleMore Reviews and comments articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0784 114 4890

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


November 2018

October 2018

September 2018

August 2018

July 2018

June 2018

May 2018

April 2018

March 2018

February 2018

January 2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999