British Supermarket Chain Launches Trucks Powered By Vegetable Waste

By switching the trucks to run on biomethane fuel, 70% less carbon dioxide is emitted and the supermarket chain saves between $18,000 and $25,000 per truck each year.

Credit: Waitrose

The British supermarket chain Waitrose is more sustainable than most, considering it hasn’t put any food waste into landfills since 2012. Additionally, it began to package some of its fusilli pasta made, in part, from recycled food scraps in 2016. The company says this change reduces the use of virgin tree pulp by 15% and lowers greenhouse gas emissions by one-fifth. Its newest venture, however, is even more newsworthy. To combat the issue of food waste, which is a problem in most first-world nations, Waitress has begun to power its delivery trucks with leftover scraps that have been converted into fuel.

The Times reports that the supermarket chain has partnered with alternative-fuel supplier CNG Fuels to “become the first company in Europe to use lorries which are run entirely on biomethane gas generated from food waste.”

The trucks can travel up to 500 miles on the fuel which is essentially just the by-product of rotting vegetable matter. The move will also save the chain money, as the fuel is estimated to be 35%-40% cheaper than diesel. In fact, CNG Fuels estimates that the savings should run between $18,000 and $25,000 per truck per year. The biomethane gas also emits 70% less carbon dioxide. That alone is a good enough reason to switch, some experts say.

“Renewable biomethane is far cheaper and cleaner than diesel, and, with a range of up to 500 miles, it is a game-changer for road transport operators,” CNG Fuels CEO Philip Fjeld said.

Credit: Waitrose

Surprisingly, the benefits to fueling the trucks with leftover matter don’t end there. By running on biomethane fuel, the vehicles are quieter than their noisy gas-guzzling counterparts. They can also be refueled faster and reportedly obtain better gas mileage.

In the U.K. and the U.S., approximately 35%-40% of the nations’ food supplies are wasted. Despite this, 795 million people still go to bed hungry each night. Clearly, it’s time more supermarket chains adopt similar practices as Waitrose.

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