Climate Action

UK’s first food waste supermarket

The first food waste supermarket in the UK has opened next to Leeds, in Pudsey.

  • 23 September 2016
  • William Brittlebank

The first food waste supermarket in the UK has opened next to Leeds, in Pudsey.

The project has been brought to life by Real Junk Food Project campaigners, who have opened the store – “the warehouse” – on the Grangefield Industrial Estate.

The food offered by the shop comes from leftovers from supermarkets and other businesses, and customers pay what they want for it – according to the “pay as you feel” principle.

Kirsty Rhodes, a customer, said: "The warehouse has absolutely been our lifeline over the past month or so... With three young children and two adults to feed we started to struggle straight away. Luckily we took the plunge to go to the warehouse and it was amazing!"

All kind of every day food is available – from fresh pasta to juice, desserts, fruit and vegetables, and even baby milk.

According to Adam Smith, Founder of the Real Junk Food Project, the association is working on plans to open similar shops in every city in the UK.

Smith said: “We’re about to start in Sheffield and Bradford... Every city will now obtain central storage and run a ‘people’s supermarket’.”

Another initiative of the Real Junk Food Project is Fuel for School, which delivers surplus bread, fruit, vegetables and dairy products from supermarkets to schools, feeding 12,000 children per week.

The food waste campaigners also have “pay as you feel” cafes developing, with hundreds of cafes throughout the country.

Customers can also pay in time and skills if they do not have money.

Smith said: “We need volunteers. Driving, weighing, sorting, stacking shelves, cleaning and much more. Lots of opportunities for people to get involved and give back.”

Photograph: Vegan Liftz