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Picnic Rescue Project

Part of Sainsbury’s Waste less, Save more national pilot in Swadlincote.

Hey! That's my lunch Fruit Friend

Funded through the Sainsbury’s Waste less, Save more project, the innovative scheme is just one of the ideas being trialled as part of the bid to help families in the area reduce their food waste bill by half in 2016, saving each one £350.

The aim of the project is to keep picnic food safe to eat for longer, reducing the waste food that ends up in the bin or gets composted after picnics.

During summer 2016 we researched what types of food were most commonly wasted after picnics and the reasons why this happened – things like food getting squashed, too warm, taking too much, kids not wanting to eat sandwiches if there were other types of food to eat.

We used these results to create a leaflet giving advice about portion sizes, food safety and interesting alternatives to traditional picnic food. The leaflet is attached to this page.

We also procured a selection of storage solutions to help people keep their food fresher for longer. This included cool bags, ice packs, hard and soft fruit cases, bag clips, lunch bags and plastic containers split into compartments.

One hundred packs of these products were produced and distributed to people who had taken part in the initial surveys – and they were asked to report back on how their summer picnics and work packed lunches went.

The project was extremely successful with over 90% of respondents saying that the project had saved over 75% of the food that they might otherwise have thrown away. 

People also said that their families enjoyed using the products and there were unexpected benefits such as encouraging fussy eaters to enjoy their food.

Many an apple also survived to be eaten another day because it didn’t get squashed and bruised in a rucksack but was kept whole and fresh in its neoprene ‘Fruit Friend’ apple case.

If you would like details of the products and suppliers please contact the Environmental Education Project team email:

Anyone interested in ideas about making their picnic food last longer or on how to use up leftovers can find out more on Swadlincote Waste less Save more Facebook page

People are invited to contribute their ideas and comments in a WLSM Facebook group

Or to use the hashtag #wastelesssavemore.

Under the Waste less, Save more project a whole range of innovative ideas are being trialled in the area which, if successful, will be rolled out to the rest of the country.

The dedicated Sainsbury’s website features a whole range of recipes and food-wasting tips for those keen to get involved.

Related documents

The following document is in Portable Document Format (PDF). You can download software to view PDF documents for free from the Adobe website (opens in a new window)