Tesco trials pumpkin rescue stations

Tesco is working with environmental charity Hubbub this Halloween (Monday October 31) to save pumpkins from going to waste.

According to Hubbub, at Halloween, 18,000 tonnes of pumpkin are dumped with only one-third of people eating the insides they have scooped out to carve their pumpkins.

Pumpkin Rescue is the first public campaign run by my charity Hubbub, using Halloween as a way of raising awareness and provoking a debate around food waste.

From October 31, Tesco will set up pumpkin rescue stations outside the entrances of 10 of its north London stores, as the supermarket chain plans to help customers recycle their food waste, and avoid their pumpkins going to landfill.

The ‘rescued’ pumpkins will be recycled via a process called anaerobic digestion, which will dispose of and convert the orange squashes into energy in an environmentally-friendly way.

Tesco will also be demonstrating meals that can be made out of pumpkin leftovers, by cooking pumpkin soup for customers to sample and handing out recipe cards so that they can be tried at home.

The Tesco pumpkin rescue stations, which are all in locations where the local council isn’t able to collect leftover pumpkins, are at: Lea Valley Extra, Colney Hatch Extra, Leytonstone Superstore, Finchley Superstore, South Tottenham Superstore, Brent Cross Extra, Leyton Superstore, Ponders End Extra, Highams Park Superstore and Harrow Superstore.

Jez Butwell, store director for Tesco in North London, said: “I’m delighted that we’re sparing a thought for pumpkins this Halloween, helping our customers in North London to convert leftovers into energy and once again demonstrating Tesco’s commitment to reducing food waste.

“The soup being cooked for customers to try is also really tasty, providing a great alternative to throwing pumpkins away and a nice, healthy little warmer as the nights start to get cold.”

This is the latest move by Tesco to reduce food waste. The retailer having already rolled out its food surplus redistribution scheme, Community Food Connection, to over 800 stores across the UK, and has pledged that it will be in all Tesco stores by the end of 2017.

Community Food Connection is run in partnership with food redistribution charity FareShare. It has already donated over a 1.5 million meals worth of surplus food from Tesco stores to people in need. Over 3,000 charities and community groups have signed up.

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