Co-op tells customers to freeze milk as it issues waste warning with new labels

The Co-op is issuing a waste warning to customers in a bid to help in the cost of living crisis.

The supermarket is adding new labels to selected products including milk telling customers to freeze it rather than throw it away.

New labels are being added to the Co-op ‘s own brand milk and other selected products advising shoppers that they can freeze them before the sell by date.

It is hoped that the move will prevent waste and help households after inflation and energy prices have soared, reports Lancashire Live.

More than £150 million worth of milk is wasted each year and 90 per cent of that waste comes from households, according to new data.

Further research reveals that UK homes throw away almost 100 billion plastic items each year.

The Big Plastic Count saw nearly 100,000 households across the country count every piece of disposable packaging they used over the course of a week in May.

Participating homes, representing around a quarter of a million people, threw away an average of 66 pieces of packaging every week – 83 per cent of which was food and drinks packaging.

The Co-op hopes encouraging customers to store their milk in the freezer will help cut down on the 70,000 tonnes of milk wasted annually.

New labels will appear across all Co-op own brand milk products from September 2022.

The message will read: “Don’t waste me, freeze me, in a suitable, clean container, then defrost in the fridge, use within 24 hours.”

According to the Co-op, two thirds of UK adults do not freeze milk at home and 31 per cent didn’t know you even could.

Of those unaware that milk could be frozen, 34 per cent of them said they’d now start putting their milk in the freezer.

Milk is best within one month of freezing and for larger bottles it’s best to decant them into a container.

When it’s ready to be used, you can defrost it in the fridge to thaw fully and then use the defrosted milk within 24 hours.

Co-op environment and sustainability said: “We’re committed to reducing our impact on the planet and we’re trying to help our customers and members make small changes that collectively, can make an impact.

“Freezing food is one of the easiest ways to make the most out of your weekly shop and prevent food wastage but not everyone knows that it’s perfectly safe to freeze milk.

“We hope that by having this message on pack it will not only save customers some money, it should also help them to throw away less.”