The supermarket trialled the scheme, and are now rolling it out nationwide (Picture: Getty Images)
Iceland is launching a brand new scheme called ‘Free on Last Day of Life’, where customers can nab free food and help reduce food waste at the same time.
From this week, online shoppers who purchase items close to their sell-by-date will be reimbursed for their price, with chilled, fresh, cakes, bread, and morning goods all included.
It’ll automatically happen as standard, so when you order the last of an item (and if it has a day or less until it’s past its best) it’ll be scanned through and delivered as normal.
Customers will be notified of this before delivery, and the cost of any applicable items will be deducted from their total.
Previously, Iceland’s policy meant that all food had a shelf life with at least two days left from when it was sold. This initiative – which cuts limit that in half – was trialled in 40 stores, and proved so successful it’s been rolled out nationwide.
During the trial, more than 17,000 items were given away for free, and customers received an average refund of £1.58 per order. If you did your weekly shop at Iceland, that adds up to a lot of cumulative savings.
The supermarket says the launch of ‘Free on Last Day of Life’ across the country has the potential to give away more than 1.3 million items (worth £500,000 a year) to their customers, tackling food waste too.
Iceland Foods managing director, Richard Walker, said: ‘Reducing food waste is a huge priority for us as we continue to reduce our impact on the environment.
‘We know that shelf life plays a big role in the creation of surplus food so we to have find an innovative way to combat this within our stores and via our online shopping.
‘Our Free on Last Day of Life scheme not only helps reduce food waste but also supports our customers.
‘We know cost is key to many of our shoppers and this new initiative allows us to offer them the opportunity to reduce their weekly shopping bills as well as helping to reduce food waste.’
So many foods – even ones you might not know about – can be frozen for freshness, and other preserving methods like pickling, fermenting, and drying can be used to make things last longer.
A meal plan that focuses on using up what’s in your fridge is also a great way to keep things from the bin.
As a country we waste the equivalent of 15 billion perfectly-edible meals a year, so any and all actions to reduce that are more than welcome.
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