It’s Thursday, September 27, and the U.K. is cutting down on food waste.

The United Kingdom wastes an astonishing 10 million tons of food every year. Blimey, that’s a lot of scraps in the rubbish heap! All that food waste produces 22 million tons of greenhouse gases per year. And it costs the U.K. $13 billion (that’s billion with a “b”) annually. In short, reducing the amount of food the Brits throw out is a win-win, environmentally and economically.

That’s why the British government announced Tuesday a new effort to crack down on food waste. Seventy major companies signed on to the voluntary monitoring plan, which asks them to keep track of their own attempts to curb waste. The supermarket chain Tesco, as well as Nestle and Coca-Cola, among others, have backed the plan to cut Britain’s food waste in half by 2030. Under the scheme, food companies that have 250 or more people on staff working in the U.K. will start cracking down on waste by 2026.

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But some critics argue the plan doesn’t quite cut the mustard. The program is voluntary, and its detractors say it doesn’t live up to goals outlined in a parliamentary report on food waste that was published last year. Britain still has a pretty shoddy food redistribution system, which means surplus food isn’t getting to charities and hungry mouths who might want it.

Looks like this season of The Great British Waste Off is off to a great start.

Zoya Teirstein

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Greta Moran