Supermarket chain Sainsbury’s is replacing use-by dates with best-before dates on its own-brand milk range to reduce food waste.

The changes will affect 44 products including all fresh and organic milk sold across England, Scotland, and Wales.

It will be implemented on more than 730 million pints of milk sold every year, making Sainsbury’s, the biggest UK retailer to do so.

The retailer will start rolling out the labelling in the new year, with plans to complete by the end of February 2024.

The move is expected to prevent customers from pouring away pints that are still safe to consume.

Research by British registered charity Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) has revealed that over 490 million pints of milk are thrown away annually in the UK, making it the third most wasted food.

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Sainsbury’s corporate responsibility & sustainability director Ruth Cranston said: “Around a third of all food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted3.Combatting food waste is one of our top priorities and we are continuously innovating to tackle this issue, all the way from farms and suppliers, right to our customers’ homes.

“By switching to best-before dates on our milk we are empowering customers to make their own decisions on whether their food is good to eat, helping to prevent them from disposing of food too early.”

The change on labelling comes closely after Sainsbury’s completed the roll out of its new milk caps across its own brand skimmed, semi-skimmed and whole milk.