By Daniel Hunter

Retailers are being praised for the work they're doing to help reduce food waste — saving consumers' money and reducing the impact on the environment.

Independent figures published today (Thursday) by the Government's waste reduction body WRAP show:

- 96 per cent of all products surveyed clear carry storage guidance, helping consumers keep food fresh for longer
- Nearly half of all packs (47 per cent) are now re-closable
- There's been an increase in the availability of smaller portion packs of foods such as bread, milk and potatoes

These results build on figures released in November 2011 which showed a sharp fall in the amount of food waste coming from people's homes, down by 13 per cent (1.1 million tonnes) for 2010 compared with 2006/07.

"Food waste costs. Retailers have been doing everything they can to help customers avoid it. Reducing food waste in the home is the real environmental priority, a much bigger target than waste from stores," British Retail Consortium Director of Food and Sustainability, Andrew Opie, said.

"Retailers are not complacent and work's going on all the time to bring food waste down further but it's great to know these efforts are being recognised. Retailers are redesigning products, packaging and labels to help people use and store food in ways which reduce waste. The myth that retailers confuse customers by using "sell by" dates can be put to bed for good — not a single "sell by" date was found in this survey of more than 12,000 products.

"We all want to reduce our waste, especially hard-pressed shoppers, and this is welcome official confirmation that retailers are doing everything they can to help customers cut their bills."

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