photo: Karen via flickr
UK supermarket chain Tesco can stick a feather in its waste-reduction cap: Its 2,300-odd stores have managed to divert 100% of their waste going into landfills nearly six months ahead of schedule -- a decidedly good thing. Too bad some pretty sickening consumption habits are behind that waste:The whole program is being spun around the reduction of methane emissions from landfills -- a noble cause and something to which we really ought to be paying attention.
5,000 Tons of Meat Turned into Electricity
However, in its press release Tesco touts that it will be reusing some 5,000 tons of past-date meat to generate 2,500 MWh of electricity a year: An amount sufficient to power 600 average UK houses. The electricity produced will be fed in the national grid.
Reducing Production & Waste of Meat in the First Place Should Be Priority
While there is virtue in turning waste into energy, the whole thing really exposes another issue. Tesco stores throw out 5,000 tons of meat a year! So Tesco is sourcing two and a half tons of meat it doesn't need, turning it into energy afterwards -- on the grounds that landfill emissions will be reduced.
Considering the carbon intensity of producing meat (let alone other environmental impacts and animal welfare concerns), it seems a better way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions might be producing less meat in the first place.