Lidl GB aims to help consumers reduce food waste at home by replacing ‘use by’ dates with ‘best before’ alternatives on its yoghurt and fresh milk products.

The retailer asserts that, if a milk or yoghurt product has been stored properly and does not have a foul odour or lumpy texture, it can still be eaten. Therefore, the ‘best before’ dates hope to prompt consumers to use the foods at their own discretion and save edible food from going to waste.

Milk packaging bearing ‘best before’ dates are already being rolled out in stores in England and Wales, and the new labels will start to appear on yoghurt packaging from early next year.

“At Lidl, we know that a lot of perfectly good milk and yoghurt is being thrown away because of ‘Use By’ dates,” explained Richard Inglis, head of Buying at Lidl GB. “It therefore makes total sense to us to make the switch to ‘Best Before’ so that shoppers can use their own judgement on whether their milk or yoghurt is good to consume.

“We’ve got a long record of making positive change to reduce food waste, and this latest step builds on our commitment to helping households tackle food waste at home.”

The transition is similar to Asda’s implementation of ‘Best Before’ labels for its own-brand yoghurts earlier this year. The same action has been undertaken for fresh milk packaging from Marks & Spencer.

Other sustainability-minded changes made by Lidl this year include its implementation of Prevented Ocean Plastic, or recovered ‘ocean-bound’ plastic waste, into its sparkling water packaging; and its use of plant-based PLA in its own-brand tea bags.

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