A British supermarket chain has been combatting food waste in more ways than one. Waitrose, the sixth largest grocery retailer in the United Kingdom with 350 stores, began selling “ugly” produce—often discarded for their imperfectness—at a discounted price last year.
Before that, five years ago, the company also halted the practice of sending food waste to landfills. Waitrose also aims to donate as much food as possible to local charities and good causes that have passed the “best before” dates (for legal reasons, it cannot donate food that has passed the “use by” date).
And since 2012, Waitrose has used any unsold food that is not donated to create electricity through anaerobic digestion. Its latest endeavor goes a step further: ten of its new delivery trucks will use food waste as fuel.
Cheaper than diesel fuel by about 35-40%, food-based gas also emits around 70% less carbon dioxide, making it an affordable and sustainable choice. Trucks that use food-based fuel are more expensive to purchase, but savings in fuel cost more than make up for the extra outlay, and can add up to about $100,000 over the course of a truck’s lifetime. Waitrose’s new trucks, a partnership with CNG Fuels, which also operates the fueling stations, can run up to 500 miles on food-derived gas. For more, head to Co.Exist.