Yellow peppers sold loose and free from packaging

Choose what you'll use and reduce household food waste. 

In the UK, a household of four people wastes on average £1000 worth of food that could have been eaten every year, with fruit and veg being the greatest part of that wasted food. 

One of the reasons for this is because fruit and veg is perishable and people buy too much to use up in time. 

Helping people to simply choose what they’ll use by offering loose, and by removing Best Before dates across five key product lines (apples, bananas, broccoli, cucumber and potatoes) we could prevent:

  • 100,000 tonnes of household food waste.
  • 10,300 tonnes of plastic, saving a combined 130,000 tonnes of CO2e.
  • If a wider range of products that are currently sometimes sold loose were only sold loose, it would save more than 21,500 tonnes of plastic.
  • And save households money by avoiding costly wasted food.
Working with signatories to the Courtauld Commitment 2030 and The UK Plastics Pact, WRAP is collaborating with the food sector to enable the necessary change that will allow people to choose what they’ll use. Reducing the environmental impact of our wasted veggies and cutting huge amounts of plastic packaging in the process.

Choose What You'll Use - Food Waste Action Week 2024 

Our Food Waste Action Week campaign aims to raise awareness of the benefits of buying loose produce – inspiring citizens to ‘choose what you'll use’, and buy what they really need. It reduces food waste and reduces plastic packaging waste. Watch the film. 

Food Waste Action Week 2024
Unpacking Fresh Fruit and Veg: A UK Behavioural Insight Study

Unpacking fruit and veg: Behavioural insights study

Learn about the depth and breadth of UK consumers’ fresh-produce-purchasing behaviours and takeaway actionable insights.

Discover our insights

Industry action.  

In 2022 WRAP published research which gave three recommendations for retailers selling fresh fruit and veg. They were:  

  • Remove best before date labels
  • Sell uncut fruit and veg loose
  • Provide best practice guidance on storage
And by industry taking up the three recommendations a staggering 14 million shopping baskets full of food waste could be saved along with 1,110 truck loads of plastic. 

And in 2023 following extensive work with industry we published an industry backed Pathway to selling more uncut fruit and veg loose . 

We have seen some good progress on removing best before dates on fruit and vegetables and we now need to see the same drive to sell more uncut fruit and veg loose and increase demand.

How are industry taking action? 

Waitrose & Partners

Waitrose customer messaging trial

A new customer messaging trial at Waitrose aims to understand how signage and customer communications affect purchase behaviour of loose items.

"… during Food Waste Action Week we are running trials to understand how signage and customer communications influences purchase of loose fruit and veg… We are committed to help our customers reduce household food waste, with over 100 lines now packaging free. We look forward to sharing the results of the trials and continuing to help our customers choose what they will use." 

Catherine Loader, Waitrose

Industry resources and guidance

  • Behaviour Change Intervention: Fresh Produce Storage

    Behaviour Change Intervention: Fresh Produce Storage

  • Evaluation of a plastic-free/loose fresh produce trial

    Morrisons case study: Loose fresh produce trial

  • Household Food Waste Tracker report

    Survey into attitudes and behaviours attitudes, related to food waste

  • Label better, less waste: Uncut fruit and vegetables

    Guidance on selling loose uncut fruit and veg for retailer and supply chain businesses

Food Waste Action Week

Discover more about our campaign Choose What You'll Use

Food Waste Action Week 2024