According to recent statistics, in the UK we waste around 15 million tonnes of food every year, and almost half of that is thrown away in our own homes. By working with organisations like Neighbourly, we're trying to do as much as we can to reduce our waste, and we want to help you rethink how you use your food too
Marks & Spencer are committed to reducing our food waste by 20 per cent by 2020. Our key priority is to reduce food waste occurring in the first place whilst ensuring that, where there is surplus, we put it to the best possible use
Part of this is working closely with charitable partners to redistribute surplus food from our stores to a network of charities that cook for those in need and are on the frontline of dealing with food poverty. We work in partnership with Neighbourly, the social network for social good, who provide a simple process for food charities to register and receive surplus food from their local store.
M&S is the first major retailer to provide live updates on the number of tonnes of surplus food redistributed - see the graphic (left) for some of the work that's been achieved so far.
But that's just the beginning. We want to help you re-examine how you shop and cook, so you can reduce waste in your own home, starting with changes you can make to your everyday life and some simple recipe ideas to help you use up one of the most commonly thrown-away foods: vegetables.
Who hasn't chucked away an unopened pot of hummus, some wrinkly carrots or some chicken that's just this side of out of date? Emptying the fridge and getting rid of food on the turn has become almost a daily ritual for busy families who just don't have the time to think up ways of using up all the food they buy each week. Start with the basics, like these five simple tips from one of our food-waste partners, Love Food Hate Waste, and see how much you can reduce your waste in a single week.
1. Get label savvy:
We all know that 'best before' isn't the same as 'display before', but do you know what everything that's printed on supermarket food labels means? Find out with this handy guide.
2. Make a meal planner:
It sounds so simple, but deciding exactly what you're going to cook when and what ingredients you need is the easiest way to make sure you aren't buying unnessesary items. Try the Love Food Hate Waste two-week planner.
3. Watch your portion size:
Avoid making too much for daily meals or dinner parties with this guide to proper meal portioning.
4. Understand your fridge:
You might not realise it, but there's more to storing your food in the fridge than separating it onto different shelves. Find out how everything from adjusting the temperature to organising your shelves can help avoid waste with this guide to loving your fridge.
5. Advice from the experts:
With tips on everything from correcting over-salted food using overripe fruit, explore this brilliant archive of handy food tricks to help you get the most out of your shop.
Take a look at our video with one of our charity ambassadors, Joanna Lumley, as she takes a closer look at our work on food waste.
Light, zingy and packed with zesty limes, and chilli, this veggie recipe will help you use up a stack of courgettes before they go soft.
Get creative with a bag of carrots with our guide to making a savoury version of this French flaky pastry classic.
If you've got leftover cold potatoes and a tin of beans hanging around, transform them into this tasty vegan dinner.
If you have some veggies left from sunday lunch, give them a makeover with this recipe for a fast veggie-friendly frittata.
Take a fresh look at your leftovers with clever recipes from our Cook with M&S app
Organise your favourite kitchen ingredients with our range of attractive and practical storage solutions